The relations between central and sub-state levels of government are constantly changing. Further devolution in the UK is on its way after a referendum on the independence of Scotland while we may observe fiscal centralization in Germany, Italy, and Spain in the aftermath of the European debt crisis. Territorial politics is about the effects of the territorial structure of the state on issues such as citizens’ attitudes towards multilevel government, voting behaviour and accountability, public policy, policy divergence and the distribution of resources between levels and across units. The aims of this Section are to explain and interpret the latest developments in the territorial politics and policies of federal and regional countries; to integrate the study of these developments into the corpus of knowledge and theory; to do so in a way that encourages a pluralism of academic disciplines, theoretical approaches and methodological tools.
Previous Sections supported by the Standing Group on Federalism and Regionalism organised eight panels at the 2014 Glasgow and six at the 2015 Montreal ECPR General Conferences. The Standing Group has eight Panels allocated to this Section and expects Paper proposals on various topics in comparative federalism, including public policy, constitutional reform, democratic accountability, political behaviour, and research methods.
Chair: Dr. Arjan H. Schakel is Assistant Professor at Maastricht University (Netherlands). His work in the fields of federalism, regional elections, and regional parties has appeared in journals such as Comparative Political Studies, European Journal of Political Research, Party Politics, and West European Politics. He is co-author of The Rise of Regional Authority (Routledge, 2010) and co-editor of Regional and National Elections in Western Europe (Palgrave Macmillan, 2013).
Co-chair: Dr. Elodie Fabre is Lecturer in Politics at Queen’s University Belfast (UK). Her work in the fields of territorial politics and party organisation has been published in such journals as Party Politics, Regional and Federal Studies, Regional Studies, and the European Journal of Political Research.
1. Elections and Parties in Multilevel
Chair: Elodie Fabre (Queen’s University Belfast)
This Panel invites theoretical and empirical contributions on political parties and party competition in federal or regionalised states. Multilevel government provides opportunities for the study of party organisation and party competition at different levels as well as for the analysis of similarities and differences between parties and voting behaviour at the national level and substate levels.
2. New Methodologies in the Study of Territorial Politics
Chair: Chris Chhim (McGill University)
In addition to promoting new ways of asking old questions in territorial politics, this panel aims to spark discussion and creativity about research methodology within the subfield. ‘New’ methodologies can be defined as entirely new methods or methods commonly used in other fields, but applied to questions of territorial politics. Papers from qualitative, quantitative, or mixed approaches are welcome. Some examples of methods that could be of interest are “big data” analysis, computer-assisted text analysis, ethnography, experiments, geospatial mapping, and qualitative comparative analysis.
3.Transparency and multi-layered governance
Chairs: Ewoud Lauwerier and Johanna Schnabel (University of Lausanne)
This Panel addresses questions of transparency in multi-layered forms of regional, national, international or transnational governance. The Panel welcomes both theoretical and empirical contributions that deal with, among others, questions of transparency in federal states, EU-politics, development cooperation, international regulatory regimes or trade negotiations.
4. Intergovernmental Relations and Democratic Scrutiny
Chair: Nicola McEwen (University of Edinburgh)
This Panel will seek to shine a light on the capacity of parliaments to scrutinise intergovernmental relations and multi-level government across territorial levels, both within nation-states and the EU. It will include comparative papers and case studies, and will aim to draw helpful insights from analyses of parliamentary and legislative oversight of both inter-state and intra-state intergovernmental relations.
5. Ethnoregionalist Parties in Central-Eastern Europe
Chair: Emanuele Massetti (Gediz University)
Comprehensive comparative works on minority ethnic and/or regionalist parties in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) have just started to appear. This Panel aims to contribute to bringing the study of CEE’s ethno-regionalist parties into mainstream political science. This Panels aims to 1) provide a map of ethno-territorial party politics across CEE states; 2) develop classifications and explanatory hypotheses that emerge from the encounter of established theories and gathered empirical accounts; and 3) put CEE ethno-regionalist parties in a wider comparative perspective.
6. Federal Systems after the Financial and Economic Crisis: slow transformation or back to normal?
Chair: César Colino (UNED)
The crisis and its different manifestations across decentralized and federal countries has brought about adaptive reactions and institutional change that has impacted directly or indirectly on the degree of decentralization and the integrative, coordinative, or distributive capacity of those systems. This Panel seeks to assess the post-crisis state of affairs in several multilevel systems by looking at the extent of institutional, political, fiscal, intergovernmental repercussions that several years of financial and economic crisis have left in multilevel systems in Europe and elsewhere.
7. Productive incompatibility? Balancing federalism and parliamentary democracy
Chairs: Arthur Benz and Jared Sonnicksen (Technische Universität Darmstadt)
The relationship between federalism and parliamentary democracy was long viewed as one of profound tension. Many have argued that party politics in parliaments either renders intergovernmental coordination prone to deadlock or strengthens the executive. This Panel re-explores this relationship as one of tensions, which may prove productive by providing variable arrangements for democratic policy-making and requiring a continuous search for a balance of power. The Panel intends to explore, how and under which conditions these productive effects can be observed.
8. European Multilingualism between Territorial and Personal Arrangements
Chair: Dr. László Marácz (University of Amsterdam)
Arrangements for managing multilingual and ethno-linguistic relations within states are far from consensual and lead to recurrent tensions in international law between the right to self-determination of peoples and the territorial integrity of states. A way out of this situation would be to apply principles of self-determination and language policy requirements in terms of territorial or personal arrangements. This Panel will explore to both the personal and the territorial perspectives as possible solutions. Papers include case studies from Western and Eastern Europe.