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Introduction

A Comparative Study of Good Government in EU Regions

Nicholas Charron, Victor Lapuente and Bo Rothstein

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Quality of Government and Corruption from a European Perspective

A Comparative Study of Good Government in EU Regions

Nicholas Charron, Victor Lapuente and Bo Rothstein

In this book the authors tackle the concept of ‘quality of government’ (QoG) both conceptually and empirically and apply their focus to EU countries and regions. In a pioneering empirical effort, they map out regional QoG for the first time for 172 NUTS 1 and 2 regions throughout 18 countries in the EU, and provide a detailed methodology. They follow up the quantitative assessment with three case studies demonstrating the wide variation of QoG found within the countries of Italy, Belgium and Romania. The book concludes with important lessons and ideas for future research.
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Small is different: size, political representation and governance

Theoretical Perspectives, International Experience and Policy Reform

Nicholas Charron, José Fernández-Albertos and Victor Lapuente

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Nicholas Charron and Bo Rothstein

This chapter explores the factors that operate at a societal level to build or destroy social trust. The analysis is based on unique data about the quality of public institutions at the regional level within the EU, and the authors test the tenability of four common explanations for variations in social trust: economic inequality, ethnic diversity, the quality of public institutions, and the degree of political participation by citizens. The analysis shows that the quality of public institutions is the strongest factor underlying regional variations in trust within countries. Economic inequality also proves to be a factor to be reckoned with for explaining variations in social trust. By contrast, the degree of ethnic diversity and the extent to which citizens participate politically have less importance for variations in trust. The overall conclusion is that increasing the quality of public institutions should have first priority if our aim is to reduce the prosperity gap between countries and regions in Europe.

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Nicholas Charron and Victor Lapuente

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Nicholas Charron

Fostering economic cohesion among the regions of the European Union (EU) is a primary policy goal of the EU Commission, and since the mid-1970s Structural Funds have been used as a key policy tool to achieve this goal. Although Structural Fund grants to regions have relatively clear criteria – namely, the level of economic development and structural factors such as unemployment – several scholars have highlighted an empirical puzzle: there is wide variation among regional allocation of funds that can be explained by factors other than economic ones. This chapter builds on this recent literature that has elucidated many political-institutional variables and adds an alternative explanation as to why certain regions receive more structural fund grants on average – the level of state capacity, or ‘quality of government’ (QoG). The chapter finds that even when controlling for standard economic and political factors, QoG explains significant regional variation in grant allocation, and the effect of QoG is even more pronounced as regions have more political and fiscal autonomy. This finding highlights a strategic dynamic between the three actors – regional, national and European Commission – in the multilevel negotiations for appropriations of Structural Fund grants to EU regions.
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Evaluating EU countries by QoG: national level

A Comparative Study of Good Government in EU Regions

Nicholas Charron

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QoG at the sub-national level and the EQI

A Comparative Study of Good Government in EU Regions

Nicholas Charron

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Nicholas Charron