Vogel, Stephan ORCID: 0000-0002-5580-7093 (2022). De/centralisation and Regional Policy-Making in Federations. Concepts, Measurement, Patterns and Predictors. PhD thesis, Universität zu Köln.

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This cumulative dissertation addresses two interlinked sets of questions: First, how much autonomy does a constituent unit have, how has it changed over time and for what reasons? Second, which patterns characterise constituent units’ policies, how do they change over time and for what reasons? These sets of questions are naturally linked in that constituent units first need to have certain legislative, administrative and fiscal rights which they then use to pass, implement and finance particular policies. The empirical case studied in this dissertation is the German federation and its Länder. However, the conceptual and theoretical framework were designed to apply to other federations as well. Regarding the first set of research questions, the dissertation measures dynamic de/centralisation in Germany since 1949 and seeks to explain the patterns observed with a funnel of causality model. Based on a novel data set, it shows stability in numerous policy fields as well as an overall marked centralisation over time, especially in the fiscal and administrative spheres. De/centralisation in Germany is then compared to five other federations. Turning to the second set of research questions, the dissertation examines the extent and form of policy diversity among the Länder, based on a novel data set on Land legislation. The analysis shows that there has been substantial policy diversity across Länder in most policy areas. After this descriptive analysis, a literature review evaluates the research designs and findings of the entire population of 85 comparative Land policy analyses. It shows that the partisan composition of government is clearly the strongest predictor. Since institutions and public opinion are rarely rejected, they should be included more frequently in future policy analyses. These results inform the following two causal-analytical policy analyses. In the first one, the overall economic and societal policy orientation of the Länder is investigated. Results show that the partisan composition of government and the share of Catholics drive economic policy-making while socioeconomic conditions, citizens’ attitudes, and, again, the share of Catholics influence societal policy-making. The second causal analysis investigates why Länder deviate from the Land policy mainstream to different extents. It finds that large Länder and Länder with historical tradition of statehood deviate more from the Land policy mainstream.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD thesis)
CreatorsEmailORCIDORCID Put Code
Vogel, Stephanstephan.vogel@wiso.uni-koeln.deorcid.org/0000-0002-5580-7093UNSPECIFIED
URN: urn:nbn:de:hbz:38-615701
Date: 2022
Language: English
Faculty: Faculty of Management, Economy and Social Sciences
Divisions: Faculty of Management, Economics and Social Sciences > Social Sciences > Political Science > Cologne Center for Comparative Politics
Subjects: Social sciences
Political science
Uncontrolled Keywords:
Territorial PoliticsEnglish
Constituent UnitsEnglish
Policy DiversityEnglish
Policy AnalysisEnglish
Policy MainstreamEnglish
Public PolicyEnglish
Date of oral exam: 13 May 2022
NameAcademic Title
Kaiser, AndréProf. Dr.
Rohlfing, IngoProf. Dr.
Refereed: Yes
URI: http://kups.ub.uni-koeln.de/id/eprint/61570


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