The objective of this project is to study how a crisis of efficiency, an external shock or a scenario of political polarization condition the functioning of territorial and decentralized models. Traditionally, federal or decentralizing reforms that have been launched throughout the world have been based on the promise of better democratic governance, increased economic efficiency, and greater political stability. However, as has been abundantly demonstrated in the literature, the performance of decentralized and federal countries in these areas has been mixed: in some cases, decentralization has helped to strengthen democratic transitions and reduce ethnic conflicts, while in in other cases, federal arrangements have resulted in worse economic management, increased secessionist tensions, and weakened accountability. If decentralized and federal models stand on the promise of economic efficiency and political stability, how do these models respond to the challenge presented by a crisis of efficiency or polarization? Do the preferences of citizens about the territorial model change in the context of a crisis? If so, do such changes in public opinion last over time? How does the emergence of radical parties at the regional level change the political (electoral) articulation of the center-periphery divisions? Is political polarization (between parties) related to polarization between territories? 

The research that will answer these research questions is structured around three areas of analysis:

The effect of crises on the centralization of power in federal and non-federal systems;

The impact of territorial polarization in the control of regional governments;

The nature of electoral competition of radical parties in decentralized contexts.

Duration of the fellowship: Three years

Starting date: December 2023