Handbook of Territorial Politics
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Handbook of Territorial Politics

Edited by Klaus Detterbeck and Eve Hepburn

The study of territorial politics has enjoyed a renaissance in the last thirty years. Scholars have questioned the state-centric assumptions upon which mainstream social science has been built, pointing to the territorial (re)distribution of power across and within states. This Handbook brings together leading scholars to demonstrate how territory has shaped institutional structures, public policies, elections, political parties, and identity across the world. Offering theoretical, comparative and empirical insights, this book provides a comprehensive overview of the impact of territory on modern political, economic and social life.
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Chapter 3: Federal, devolved or decentralized state: on the territorial architectureof power

Nathalie Behnke


Multilevel government approaches allow us to discern the basic dimensions of territorial power distributions in federal, devolved and decentralized states. Arguments for establishing multilevel government structures in the history of political thought can be differentiated between a ‘cooperative surplus’ and a ‘protection from power through competition’ school. In analysing the power structures, the ideal-types of interstate versus intrastate federalism are shown to be fruitful for comparing multilevel government arrangements. The chapter discusses the effects of these ideal-type architectures on democracy, conflict resolution and political stability.

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