The Role of Multi‐Level Governance in Shaping Regional Growth and Competitiveness in the Basque Country

Caroline Gray*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In light of ongoing debates in England over the urgency of new devolution deals to ‘level up’ the country, this article investigates how devolved powers have been used to transform and sustain the economy in one of the most economically successful regions in Europe: the Basque Country. Drawing upon interviews conducted with Basque politicians, researchers and practitioners, the article examines the role that multi‐level governance and public‐private collaboration have played in shaping the region's economic development, as well as the challenges that derive from its complex institutional structure. The article concludes by suggesting that one of the most significant takeaways from the Basque experience is the importance of using devolution to build a collaborative web of actors and institutions at regional and local level with an enduring common knowledge and purpose that far outlives any one government, as well as the social capital needed to sustain that.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)628-636
JournalPolitical Quarterly
Issue number4
Early online date8 Oct 2022
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2022

Bibliographical note

Copyright © 2022, The Author. The Political Quarterly published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of Political Quarterly Publishing Co (PQPC). This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


  • devolution
  • multi‐level governance
  • economic growth
  • competitiveness
  • Basque Country
  • levelling up
  • multi-level governance


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