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Comparative Territorial Politics: Citizens, Elections, and Institutions in Multilevel States

Comparative Politics
Elections
Federalism
Government
Local Government
National Identity
Nationalism
Regionalism
S13
Elodie Fabre
Queen's University Belfast
Arjan H. Schakel
Universitetet i Bergen

Endorsed by the ECPR Standing Group on Federalism and Regionalism


Abstract

Whereas the integrity of some unions, such as the EU, the UK and Spain, is being questioned by various forms of nationalism, multilevel governance seems to have become the answer to nationalist demands for self-government and large-scale economic and environmental policy issues. Multilevel governance is evolving, with regionalism and sub-state nationalism increasing diversity in the ways subnational institutions organise and interact with their citizens. Place increasingly makes a difference to the way people live, interact with public authorities, and vote, and to the services they receive. These differences have also made it imperative for the constituent parts of states to coordinate their actions with each other and with the central government to ensure some level of policy consistency. In this context, citizens must navigate increasingly complex sets of institutions and respond to social, economic and political changes at different levels. This Section invites Panels and Papers that address a broad range of topics, including how and why multilevel institutions have become contested, what differences multilevel government makes to party competition and public policy, and how multilevel institutions work in practice. We have received five open Panel proposals. We expect to receive additional Panel and Paper proposals on public policy, territorial reforms, and elites in multi-level states. 1. Challenging the State from Below I: New Perspectives on Regionalist and Nationalist Mobilisation Chair: Anwen Elias, Aberystwyth University In recent years, sub-state regionalist and nationalist parties and movements have (re-)emerged as important political actors in many pluri-national states. The stability and integrity of some states have come under new pressure, precipitating a territorial crisis in some places. Given that previous waves of sub-state mobilisation against the state had already contributed to the increasing territorialisation of political structures and dynamics, the re-emergence of territorial tensions has taken many scholars by surprise. In particular, the drivers, nature and consequences of the most recent wave of sub-state territorial mobilisation are poorly understood. This Panel invites Papers that explore these dynamics, with a particular interest in contributions that advance our understanding of i) what and how changes in the socio-economic, political and cultural conditions of sub-state regionalist and nationalist actors have underpinned the re-configuration and re-emergence of territorial conflict; and ii) the strategic choices these actors make in seeking to advance their territorial demands. 2. Challenging the State from Below II: Territory, Identity and Populism in Sub-state Mobilisation Chair: Nuria Franco, Aberystwyth University Recent work has mapped out a new research agenda exploring the intersection of territory, identity politics and populism. Whilst scholars have begun to identify conceptual and empirical aspects of this phenomenon, further work is required to better understand the populist dimension to territorial politics. In particular, this Panel focuses on the populist dimension to the mobilisation of sub-state regionalist and nationalist actors. It thus invites contributions which seek to provide new understandings (theoretical and empirical) of the populist dimension of sub-state challenges to the extant territorial structures of the state. 3. Taking stock of local and regional election surveys I: When is sub-national voting NOT about national politics? (with the Local Government and Politics Standing Group) Chair: Ulrik Kjær, University of Southern Denmark The number of surveys held for local and regional elections have increased considerably since the 1990s. The objective of this Panel is to share findings based on election survey data regarding the conditions under which voting in regional and local elections is NOT about national politics. This Panel will bring together scholars working on regional and local election survey data. Both groups of scholars tend to take up similar kind of questions but do not communicate much with each other. We welcome Paper proposals that present empirical findings based on local and/or regional election survey data and analyses may be based on a single election or elections held across several territories and may concern legislative or executive elections. 4. Taking stock of surveys among subnational representatives I: How do role perceptions differ between sub-national and national representatives? (with the Local Government and Politics Standing Group) Chair: Nicolas Keuffer, University of Lausanne Since the 2000s, a significant number of surveys among representatives from local and regional governments has been accumulated, from large-scale and comparative surveys to national surveys. The objective of this Panel is to share findings based on survey data among elected representatives at all territorial levels and to discuss how, when, and where role perceptions vary. This Panel will bring together scholars who study representation at the local and regional levels, groups that tend to take up similar questions but do not communicate with each other. We welcome proposals that present empirical findings based on survey data among elected and non-elected representatives across territorial levels and analyses may be based on a single or several territories, but Papers that compare role perceptions across national and subnational representatives are especially welcomed. 5. Patterns of Autocratization in Multi-level Democracies Chairs: Giulia Sandri (Catholic University of Lille) and Luca Tomini (Free University of Brussels) The democratization and autocratization literatures (Cassani and Tomini 2018; Lurhmann et al. 2018) have long explored the functioning and evolution of political regimes. However, most of these studies have underestimated and neglected the territorial dimension of democracy. Yet, the possibility that the political and institutional interactions between supranational, national and sub-national levels of governments would affect political changes in a democratic (or autocratic) direction is something that should be taken into account when evaluating the qualities of democracy and political change. In a time of increasing alarm for liberal democracies, this Panel aims to fill a gap by focusing on the relationship between the territorial structures of the state and the processes of political change both in democratic and autocratic directions in different regions of the world (Europe, Latin America, Middle East, etc). The Panel aims to explore the following question: how and to what extent do the territorial structures of the state affect autocratization processes? The Panel welcomes both theoretical and empirical Papers. While comparative empirical studies are preferred, case studies are also welcomed.

Code Title Details
P040 Challenging the State from Below: New Perspectives on Regionalist and Nationalist Mobilisation View Panel Details
P139 Federalism and Asymmetry: Curse or Blessing? View Panel Details
P156 Governance and Cooperation Trends in and Across the Alpine Region View Panel Details
P268 Patterns of Autocratization in Multi-Level Democracies View Panel Details
P296 Political Representation and Sub-National Elections View Panel Details
P329 Public Policy and Policy Diversity Below the National Level View Panel Details
P380 Taking Stock of Local and Regional Electoral Behaviour: When is Sub-National Voting NOT About National Politics? View Panel Details
P464 Territorial Politics, Regionalism and Citizens' Attitudes View Panel Details