Decentralization and subnational politics in Western Europe

Caroline Gray, Ed Turner, Davide Vampa

Research output: Chapter in Book/Published conference outputChapter


This chapter identifies (1) the impact of twenty-first century crises and their legacies on the increasingly decentralized models of governance that had been established across much of Western Europe by the turn of the century; and (2) the consequences of that impact, in a context of wider post-2008 political change, for regional politics and central-regional government relations. Through the analysis of three specific country case studies, Germany, Italy and Spain, the chapter shows that developments from the 2008 financial crisis onwards served to accelerate prior processes of change already underway in relation to attitudes towards federal/decentralized systems of governance across Western Europe, but to varying degrees in different national contexts. Moreover, domestic political interests, issues and institutional structures significantly influenced the way in which crisis-related pressures manifested themselves at substate level and shaped intergovernmental dynamics. The chapter concludes with suggestions for future research.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHandbook on Decentralization, Devolution and the State
EditorsIgnacio Lago
PublisherEdward Elgar
Number of pages25
ISBN (Electronic)978 1 83910 328 5
ISBN (Print)978 1 83910 327 8
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Publication series

NameElgar Handbooks in Political Science
PublisherEdward Elgar


  • Decentralization
  • Substate politics
  • Western Europe
  • German federalism
  • Spanish politics
  • Italian politics


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