This comprehensive volume studies the vices and virtues of regionalisation in comparative perspective, including countries such as Belgium, Germany, Spain, and the UK, and discusses conditions that might facilitate or hamper responsiveness in regional democracies. It follows the entire chain of democratic responsiveness, starting from the translation of citizen preferences into voting behaviour, up to patterns of decision-making and policy implementation.
Many European democracies have experienced considerable decentralisation over the past few decades. This book explores the key virtues which may accompany this trend, such as regional-level political authorities performing better in understanding and implementing citizens' preferences. It also examines how, on the other hand, decentralisation can come at a price, especially since the resulting multi-level structures may create several new obstacles to democratic representation, including information, responsibility and accountability problems.
This book was originally published as a special issue of the journal West European Politics.