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The Territorial Imperative

Authors : Jeffrey J. Anderson
Publisher : Cambridge University Press
Published Date : 2007-04-17
ISBN-13 : 9780521036092
Page : 272 Pages
Language : en

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The Territorial Imperative explores a growing area of interest in comparative political economy–the interaction of politics and economics and the meso-level of the polity. Noting the ubiquity of regional economic disparities within advanced industrial democracies, Jeffrey Anderson undertakes a sophisticated analysis of the complex political conflicts, involving myriad actors across multiple levels of the polity, which are generated by declining regional economies. The principal theoretical focus centers on the impact of constitutional orders as bona fide political institutions. Based on a carefully constructed comparison of four declining industrial regions embedded within a broader cross-national comparison of unitary Britain and federal Germany, Anderson concludes that constitutional orders as institutions do, in fact, matter. In short, the territorial distribution of power, encapsulated in the federal unitary distinction, is shown to exercise a strong political logic of influence on the distribution of interests and resources among subnational and national actors and on the strategies of cooperation and conflict available to them. In the course of the study, the author brings together in a creative manner theories of intergovernmental relations, center-periphery, corporatism, pluralism and the state. Viewed in this context of widespread optimism surrounding the future of regions in a post-1992 Europe, Anderson’s findings underscore the need for caution when assessing the horizons of action for subnational interests in advanced industrial democracies.

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