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Assessing Quality of Government in Autonomous Regions – A Frame of Reference

Comparative Politics
Public Administration
Policy Implementation
Jan Sundberg
University of Helsinki
Jan Sundberg
University of Helsinki
Stefan Sjöblom
University of Helsinki

Quality of government has mainly been assessed either with respect to nation states or with regard to regions generally. Initially the research community as well as international organizations called attention to the value of good governance for developing countries. Lately, an expanding body of research has observed notable within-EU variations in quality of government and important sub-national variations within individual countries. Although the contextual differences are considerable, some studies particularly emphasize the importance of impartiality with respect to the administration and the allocation of public services and resources as critical factors in explaining the variations (cf. Charron et al. 2013). However, the quality of government of autonomous regions remains an under-investigated issue. Should we conceptualize and assess quality of government differently in autonomous regions, and how do various institutional arrangements, such as the relationship between the state and the subnational-level, affect the quality of government of autonomous regional structures? Based on existing research, the aim of the paper is to develop criteria and a frame of reference for assessing quality of government in autonomous regions.
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