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Authoritarianism, democracy and de/centralization in federations: What connections?

Dardanelli, Paolo, Kincaid, John, Adeney, Katharine, Moscovich, Lorena, Olmeda, Juan Cruz, Schlegel, Rogerio, Suberu, Rotimi, Boni, Filippo, Lacroix Eussler, Santiago Thomas (2023) Authoritarianism, democracy and de/centralization in federations: What connections? Regional and Federal Studies, 33 (5). pp. 577-606. ISSN 1359-7566. (doi:10.1080/13597566.2023.2274861) (KAR id:103398)


What is the impact of democracy/authoritarianism regime change on de/centralization in federations? Based on annual coding of three politico-institutional aspects, 22 policy fields, and five fiscal categories, this article maps de/centralization in Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, Nigeria and Pakistan from the establishment of their respective federal orders to 2020. It shows that de/centralization varies greatly across its different dimensions as well as between systems, with centralization being the dominant long-term trend but with significant exceptions, notably Pakistan. Regime change plays a major role in de/centralization but not always in line with the usual expectation that authoritarian regimes centralize and democratic ones decentralize. Other factors that cut across the authoritarianism/democracy divide, notably ideological orientations, have substantial impacts on de/centralization. By investigating long-run patterns of de/centralization in federations that have experienced democracy/authoritarianism regime change, the article sheds light on how federalism operates beyond consolidated democracies.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1080/13597566.2023.2274861
Additional information: For the purpose of open access, the author(s) has applied a Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) licence to any Author Accepted Manuscript version arising.
Uncontrolled keywords: centralisation, centralization, decentralisation, decentralization, federations, federalism, democracy, authoritarianism
Subjects: J Political Science
J Political Science > JF Political institutions and public administration
J Political Science > JL Political institutions and public adminsitration (Canada, Latin America, etc.)
J Political Science > JQ Political institutions and public administrations (Asia, Africa, Australia, Pacific Area, etc.)
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Human and Social Sciences > School of Politics and International Relations
Funders: Leverhulme Trust (
Depositing User: Paolo Dardanelli
Date Deposited: 23 Oct 2023 15:25 UTC
Last Modified: 11 Mar 2024 11:12 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

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