Institutes & Centers

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

Autonomies Compared: Subnational and Local​

Gaël Gaborel/Unsplash© Gaël Gaborel/Unsplash | Gaël Gaborel/Unsplash

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.

Research Group Projects

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2a/2021: Comparative Federalism and Autonomy Studies

Duration: December 2005 - December 2021Funding:
Internal funding EURAC (Project)

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Institute's Projects

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Eurac Research is a private research center based in Bolzano (South Tyrol) with researchers from a wide variety of scientific fields who come from all over the globe. Together, through scientific knowledge and research, they share the goal of shaping the future.

What we do

Our research addresses the greatest challenges facing us in the future: people need health, energy, well-functioning political and social systems and an intact environment. These are complex questions, and we are seeking the answers in the interaction between many different disciplines. In so doing, our research work embraces three major themes: regions fit for living in, diversity as a life-enhancing feature, a healthy society.

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