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Institutional impact assessment in multi-level systems: conceptualizing decentralization effects from a comparative perspective

  • Comparative literature on institutional reforms in multi-level systems proceeds from a global trend towards the decentralization of state functions. However, there is only scarce knowledge about the impact that decentralization has had, in particular, upon the sub-central governments involved. How does it affect regional and local governments? Do these reforms also have unintended outcomes on the sub-central level and how can this be explained? This article aims to develop a conceptual framework to assess the impacts of decentralization on the sub-central level from a comparative and policy-oriented perspective. This framework is intended to outline the major patterns and models of decentralization and the theoretical assumptions regarding de-/re-centralization impacts, as well as pertinent cross-country approaches meant to evaluate and compare institutional reforms. It will also serve as an analytical guideline and a structural basis for all the country-related articles in this Special Issue. Points forComparative literature on institutional reforms in multi-level systems proceeds from a global trend towards the decentralization of state functions. However, there is only scarce knowledge about the impact that decentralization has had, in particular, upon the sub-central governments involved. How does it affect regional and local governments? Do these reforms also have unintended outcomes on the sub-central level and how can this be explained? This article aims to develop a conceptual framework to assess the impacts of decentralization on the sub-central level from a comparative and policy-oriented perspective. This framework is intended to outline the major patterns and models of decentralization and the theoretical assumptions regarding de-/re-centralization impacts, as well as pertinent cross-country approaches meant to evaluate and compare institutional reforms. It will also serve as an analytical guideline and a structural basis for all the country-related articles in this Special Issue. Points for practitioners Decentralization reforms are approved as having a key role to play in the attainment of ‘good governance’. Yet, there is also the enticement on the part of state governments to offload an ever-increasing amount of responsibilities to, and overtask, local levels of government, which can lead to increasing performance disparities within local sub-state jurisdictions. Against this background, the article provides a conceptual framework to assess reform impacts from a comparative perspective. The analytical framework can be used by practitioners to support their decisions about new decentralization strategies or necessary adjustments regarding ongoing reform measures.show moreshow less

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Metadaten
Author:Sabine KuhlmannGND, Ellen Wayenberg
ISSN:0020-8523
ISSN:1461-7226
Parent Title (English):International Review of Administrative Sciences
Publisher:Sage
Place of publication:London
Document Type:Article
Language:English
Date of first Publication:2016/06/28
Year of Completion:2016
Publishing Institution:Universität Potsdam
Release Date:2017/05/31
Tag:administrative reform; comparison; coordination; effectiveness; efficiency; impact assessment; institutional reform; local government
Volume:82
Issue:2
First Page:233
Last Page:272
Organizational units:Wirtschafts- und Sozialwissenschaftliche Fakultät / Sozialwissenschaften
Dewey Decimal Classification:3 Sozialwissenschaften / 35 Öffentliche Verwaltung, Militärwissenschaft / 351 Öffentliche Verwaltung
Peer Review:Referiert
Publication Way:Open Access
Licence (German):License LogoKeine Nutzungslizenz vergeben - es gilt das deutsche Urheberrecht
Notes extern:Zweitveröffentlichung in der Schriftenreihe Postprints der Universität Potsdam : Wirtschafts- und Sozialwissenschaftliche Reihe ; 91