Session Abstract: This panel will investigate how several countries including both federal and unitary system in the world manage intergovernmental relations after decentralization reforms, with a focus on intermediate-level sub-national governments. Many countries have implemented administrative, fiscal, and political decentralization measures since the 1990s as a part of neo-liberal government reforms. Several studies have examined how municipal-level governments manage public policy after decentralization. However, few have dealt with intermediate-level sub-national governments, such as prefectures in Japan or provinces in Canada. This panel includes four presentations that will reveal how these intermediate-level sub-national governments conduct intergovernmental relations with the central government.
First, Kato and Tokuhisa focus on governmental rescaling effects in Australia and Japan. Although the state systems of both countries are structurally different, they both implemented comparable rescaling measures. The comparative analysis of both countries will allow us to develop theoretical implications. Second, Funaki analyses the latest political decentralization to intermediate level of government in Chile to outline the sequential process and explore the motivations of policymakers and societal actors. Third, Tamai illustrates the tendency towards convergence between local authorities in France. This portion shows political boundaries among the regionalist coalition, the departmentalist coalition, and metropolitan coalition. Fourth, Kido examines the political linkage between the federal and provincial governments in Canada, where party organization is separated between the two levels of governments; this portion will highlight politicians’ careers as they participate in intergovernmental relations.
The Political Effects of State Rescaling in Australia and Japan: A Comparative Analysis: Masatoshi Kato (Ritsumeikan University), Kyoko Tokuhisa (Ritsumeikan University) Abstract: Globalization and post-industrialization yield new social problems, such as poverty and social exclusion. To cope with these problems, advanced democracies reformed their state apparatus. For example, certain central governments devolved some powers to local governments. However, other central governments accumulated more power and transferred some authorities to meso-level. With this regard, decentralization and centralization are distinguishing features in governmental reform. Previous studies have shown that these trends caused ambivalent outcomes. According to these studies, while these reforms are functionally necessary, they create new problems, such as democratic and accountability deficits. However, many studies mainly focus on the experience in European countries. Few have dealt with other advanced democracies, such as Australia and Japan.
This study analyzes state rescaling in Australia and Japan. Although the state systems in both countries are structurally different, they both implemented comparable rescaling measures. Australia has a federal system. While state and local governments have constitutional autonomy, they are fiscally dependent on federal government. To correct this imbalance between policy autonomy and fiscal capacity, Australia reformed intergovernmental relations. Japan has a unitary system. Facing political and fiscal problems, the central government devolved some powers to prefectural and local governments. At the same time, the central government encouraged the merge of local governments. Therefore, intermediate-level cooperation and coordination is gradually increasing in importance in Australia and Japan. However, the rising routes of importance in this level vary in both countries. This study compares political effects of state rescaling in both countries and indicates their theoretical implications.
The Long-Awaited Advancement of the Most Delayed Decentralization Process in South America: The Causes and Sequence of Law No. 20990, Elections for Regional Governors in Chile: Ritsuko Funaki (Chuo University) Abstract: Chile is one of the first countries to implement decentralization reforms in Latin America and simultaneously one of the most centralized countries in the region in recent years. After the late 1970s, many neighboring nations implemented decentralization policies, and there are various related studies on this. On the political causes of decentralization, in particular, there is the party structure hypothesis, the electoral strategy for ruling and outgoing parties, and electoral interest for opposition parties. From a broader perspective (administrative, political, and fiscal) of the process, Falleti showed the importance of national or subnational territorial interests. Based on Falleti’s?sequential analysis, this study will examine the Chilean case of the regional decentralization process to clarify how and why it was possible to establish Law No. 20990 as a constitutional amendment to introduce elections for regional governors in Chile. It will be the first time that Chilean people will elect the heads of intermediate-level governments, making them the last South American nation to implement such a reform, except for Suriname. The primary sources investigated in this study were the proceedings of the National Congress and other textual sources published by pro-regional social actors and the national press. This study reached the tentative conclusion that this incremental decentralization process is led by social actors and national policymakers with supra-partisan regional interests.
Competition Between Local Authorities: A Reflection of the French Local System and Decentralization Reform: Ryoko Tamai (Kyoto Prefectural University) Abstract: It has remained a contentious matter that French local authorities overlap each other jurisdictions and competences. The experiences of the French local government reform show that there are no sufficient goals of this attempt. But it leads to legitimacy challenges at the local level. Through the French decentralization reform driven by Jean-Marc Ayrault and Manuel Valls since 2012, these reforms have strengthened in the clarification of the responsibilities among local authorities: communes, intercommunal public corporations (EPCIs), départements, and regions.
The design of these assaults accelerates the process in the devolution of administrative competences between local authorities, where local political leaders remain these resources and capacities in local government and the State at the French context. Our purpose in this research is to reflect on the extent to which the impact of the institutional arrangements on EPCIs and regions at local and regional authorities. The shift in competences among french local authorities has drawn the institutional struggle related to the local governance. This reform aimed to emphasize the importance of cities. That tendency addresses the transfer of competencies to EPCIs, especially of the French metropoles. It also achieved to cut the number of French regions. This instrument is no equivalents other regions, such as German regions, with financial and legislative situations. This territorial arrangement has reserved a reaffirmation process that region is reliable partners of the state and other local authorities, although it is also initially intended to build on the strengths of French local competitiveness at EU.
Political Career Paths with Party Organization Divided Between Central and Sub-National Governments: Using Canada as a Case Study: Hideki Kido (Kyoto Women's University) Abstract: This presentation will examine the political careers of parliament members in Canada. I will focus on how many politicians are moving into the federal government from the provincial and/or municipal level. Many studies show that parliament members in the Canadian federal government started out in professional occupations such as accounting, legal practice, and medicine before becoming politicians. This is because the federal political party is completely separated from the provincial party in Canada, and provincial and/or municipal politicians are not regarded as significant resources for the federal parliament. Even though it is often said that local autonomy is the school of democracy, Canadian local and/or provincial politics is separated from its federal politics in terms of political careers.
My presentation will question this aspect of political careerism in Canada and examine how many federal politicians are coming from the provincial and/or municipal level. Indeed, over 25% members of the House of Commons after the 2015 election have had a previous political career at the provincial and/or municipal level. I will investigate the former jobs of all parliament members in the House of Commons since the 1990s, including former party affiliation and types of political careers, such as mayor, provincial legislative assembly member, etc.