COVID-19 and Territorial Policy Dynamics in Western Europe: Comparing France, Spain, Italy, Germany, and the United Kingdom

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Abstract

This article seeks to assess and explain territorial policy dynamics in five European countries—Italy, Spain, Germany, France and the United Kingdom—from the start of the COVID-19 pandemic up to early 2021. The crisis has clearly highlighted well-known differences between centralized and decentralized systems. Yet focusing on this dichotomy is not sufficient. It is suggested that, while the distribution of authority between central and regional governments matters, policy dynamics—that is, how different territorial levels interact in policy-making processes—are even more important in driving multi-level responses to the emergency. Whether these dynamics are hierarchical (France), competitive (Italy and Spain), cooperative (Germany) or mixed (the United Kingdom) depends on how pre-crisis institutional, sectoral and political “causal forces” moderate the impact of an exogenous shock.
Original languageEnglish
JournalPublius: the Journal of Federalism
Early online date28 Jun 2021
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 28 Jun 2021

Bibliographical note

© The Author(s) 2021. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of CSF Associates: Publius, Inc.
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted reuse, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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