A Postfunctionalist Theory of Regional Government
The structure of government―the number of tiers and the allocation of tasks over these tiers―has been a subject of political research since Althusius (1603) and Pufendorf (1672). More recently, the process of European integration revived the interest in the allocation of tasks across government tiers.1 One approach to this topic is the subsidiarity principle of the European Union which states that matters ought to be handled by the lowest feasible tier. However, the subsidiarity principle has also been used by the member states of the European Union as an argument to safeguard national autonomy (Van Kersbergen and Verbeek 1994). The precise allocation of tasks across government tiers remains a matter of fierce normative and empirical debate.
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