This project engages the jurisdictional implications of two contrasting approaches to subnational governance: a functional approach that conceives government as responding to economies of scope and scale. Its purpose is to provide a given basket of public goods at the lowest cost to every individual across the country, and the ideal outcome is a standardized set-up with jurisdictions of similar population or area. The alternative is an incremental design which builds on existing communities and longue-durée pressures hypothesized by Stein Rokkan producing a diverse set-up with jurisdictions of widely divergent population and area. Building on Rokkan’s theory of peripherality, we propose a new measure of the distinctiveness of individual regions in 81 countries. We theorize how this affects the jurisdictional design of subnational regions. We find that the extent to which regions are distinctive in a country has a predictable effect on the structure of its governance across 42 instances of the design of new subnational tiers that we detect since 1950.
Liesbet Hooghe is the the W.R Kenan Distinguished Professor of Political Science at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a Robert Schuman Fellow at the EUI, Florence. She was born and educated in Belgium and received her PhD from the KU Leuven. After a one-year Fulbright fellowship at Cornell University and a three-year postdoctoral fellowship at Nuffield College, Oxford, she joined the University of Toronto. In 2000, she moved to the University of North Carolina. Between 2004 and 2016, she also held the Chair in Multilevel Governance at the VU University Amsterdam.
This event will be co-sponsored by the Berkeley Comparative Politics Colloquium and the Berkeley Institute of European Studies.