Re-distribution of Authority: A Cross-regional Perspective

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Jeanie J. Bukowski, Swarna Rajagopalan
Greenwood Publishing Group, 2000 - Political Science - 206 pages

Bukowski, Rajagopalan and their contributors seek to cross both analytical and geographic boundaries in the study of why and how authority shifts both within and beyond the modern nation-state. They develop a conceptualization of the re-distribution of authority, that is, when the capacity of governmental and societal units involved in carrying out the tasks and responsibilities of governance change over time, relative to each other. They argue that this is a more comprehensive alternative to extant conceptualizations used to study the shifting of authority, such as decentralization, regionalism, or federalism. Nine diverse cases are then presented: Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka, the United States, Russia, Spain, Portugal, Senegal, and South Africa. Each case addresses the questions: Which are the factors that explain the re-distribution of authority? Under what conditions are some of these factors more important than others?

Despite the diversity of the cases in both geographic location and levels of economic and political development, four major explanatory factors emerge as common across all nine cases: identity-related claims, economic imperatives, considerations of administrative efficiency, and political agency. Moreover, discerning the complex interaction of these factors is necessary in understanding the re-distribution of authority in both its centralizing and decentralizing forms, across all levels of governance. Of particular interest to scholars, students, and policy researchers involved with international relations, comparative politics, public administration, political development, and state formation, and ethnonational politics.


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Redistribution of Authority Crossing Boundaries
Demarcating Units Redistributing Authority Pakistan India Sri Lanka
Pulling and Tugging The Distribution of Authority in a Mature Federal System
Redistribution of Authority in Russia Regional Governors Preferences
Complexity Matters The Redistribution of Authority in Spain and Portugal
Decentralization in Senegal Reordering Authority or Reinventing Past Reforms?
Redistribution of Authority in South Africa Centralizing the Government Rainbowing the Nation
Conclusion Redistribution of Authority in Comparative Perspective
Works Cited
About the Contributors

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About the author (2000)

JEANIE J. BUKOWSKI is an Assistant Professor of International Studies at Bradley University./e Her current research examines decentralization and multi-level policy networks in the European Union and decision making in sub-state regional governments in Southern Europe. She is the author of journal articles and book chapters in these areas, and currently serves as book reviews editor for the European Community Studies Association Review.

SWARNA RAJAGOPALAN is a Post-doctoral Fellow, Michigan State University, (James Madison College). Her research interests include nationalist and ethnic conflicts, state formation, and political development and security issues, particularly internal conflicts. She is the author of journal articles in these areas.

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