By Schneider, A., 2003


Decentralized government institutions are doing more of the work of government than ever before, but there is little agreement about 1) what decentralization means, or 2) how it should be measured. To overcome this confusion, this article builds on standard definitions of decentralization that include three core dimensions: fiscal, administrative, and political. The article offers an empirical test of that definition using factor analysis of data from 1996 for sixty-eight countries. Factor analysis confirms these three core dimensions and generates a score for each case in each dimension, allowing countries to be measured according to their type and degree of decentralization. In future work, these scores can be used for hypothesis testing about the causes and effects of decentralization on important social outcomes. This exercise demonstrates that conceptual confusion need not hamper research when empirical tests can help verify conceptual categories.

By Rodríguez-Pose, A. and Wilkie, C., 2016


In this paper we will argue that, despite mixed evidence, place-based development strategies are off to a promising start and that maximizing the returns of place-based territorial development at the local level can be achieved via both (i) capacity building to ensure that localities and communities are technically capable of assuming the responsibilities associated with greater powers and developing territorially-oriented approaches and interventions, and (ii) the promotion of multilevel governance to enhance vertical and horizontal coordination, guaranteeing a sufficient degree of coherence between the resources allocated to, and responsibilities assumed at the local level and also minimal overlap between the actions taken by various tiers of government.

By Rodríguez-Pose, A. and Gill, N., 2005


Recent political and academic discourse about devolution has tended to stress the economic advantages of the transfer of power from national to subnational institutions. This ‘economic dividend’ arises through devolved administrations’ ability to tailor policies to local needs, generate innovation in service provision through inter-territorial competition, and stimulate participation and accountability by reducing the distance between those in power and their electorates. This paper, however, outlines two related caveats. First, there are many forces that accompany devolution and work in an opposite direction. Devolved governmental systems may carry negative implications in terms of national economic efficiency and equity as well as through the imposition of significant institutional burdens. Second, the economic gains, as well as the downsides, that devolution may engender are contingent, to some extent, upon which governmental tier is dominating, organizing, propagating and driving the devolutionary effort.

By Kristin Archick, 2017


This report provides a brief history of the EU and the major challenges currently confronting the EU as an institution. It also discusses the potential implications both for the EU itself and for U.S.-EU relations.