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A new framework for understanding subnational policy-making and local choice

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Publication details

JournalPolicy Studies
DateAccepted/In press - 9 Mar 2016
DateE-pub ahead of print - 23 May 2016
DatePublished (current) - 2 Jan 2017
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)76-90
Early online date23/05/16
Original languageEnglish


This article presents a new and innovative framework to help analyse policy-making and depoliticisation within subnational governance arrangements. By focusing on the capacity (not the autonomy) of subnational governments to achieve their political objectives, and incorporating external actors along both the vertical and horizontal dimensions, it provides a dynamic tool to understand the extent to which municipal governments influence local policy-making processes. Furthermore, it stresses that greater ‘localism’ (or independence) between vertical tiers of government is likely to weaken subnational bodies and result in them becoming more interdependent with (or even dependent on) horizontal non-state actors within the locality. This would weaken their position in local governance arrangements and exacerbate the depoliticised nature of decision-making.

Bibliographical note

© 2016 The Author(s).

    Research areas

  • depoliticisation, intergovernmental relations, localism, multi-level governance, organisational capacity, policy analysis, policy-making, power dependency, Subnational government

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