Institutes & Centers

Institute for Comparative Federalism - Autonomies Compared: Subnational and Local​

Autonomies Compared: Subnational and Local​

What is the relevance of federalism worldwide? How do systems aim to ensure subnational and local autonomy compare and what can countries across continents learn from each other?

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What is the relevance of federalism worldwide? How do systems aim to ensure subnational and local autonomy compare and what can countries across continents learn from each other? We use a contextualist approach from the perspectives of legal and political research to answer these questions.

As an institute that is located in South Tyrol, an autonomous province within Italy, and characterized by its proximity to the classical European federations Austria, Germany and Switzerland, it seems quite natural that comparative studies on federalism and autonomy are of particular interest. Our comparative studies benefit from this particular geographical context and, linked to it, our trilingual approach and intensive collaboration with research networks in three languages (German, Italian and English).

The institute's early comparative research mostly concentrated on the role of federalism and autonomy for the management of ethno-cultural diversity. While this has remained a key topic, we later on extended our scope to also studying the practical application and implications of these concepts in different policy fields such as institutional innovation, financial relations, as well as immigration and integration in multi-level systems. A second more recent strategic development has been the increased focus of the institute’s comparative research on local autonomy which today complements our initial emphasis on the autonomy of subnational entities (regions, provinces, states, Länder, cantons, etc.). Thus, the role of local governments and how they interact with subnational and national governments has been key for developing a perspective that is truly multilevel in nature.

Projects

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Project

Federalism

2a/2022: Comparative Federalism and Autonomy Studies

Duration: December 2005 - December 2022Funding: Internal funding EURAC (Project)

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