Constraints on political autonomy in decentralized Spain? Analysing the impact of territorial financing and governments’ ideology on regional policy-making

Raquel Gallego, Nicolás Barbieri, Cristina De Gispert, Sheila González, Maite Vilalta

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

© 2018, Centro Estudios Politicos Constitucionales. All rights reserved. This article analyses the impact of state decentralization on one aspect of territorial diversity, specifically on the policy discretion of regions, as an expression of their political autonomy for self-government. Our interest focuses on the factors that determine the decisions and actions of regional governments in developing their policies. We ask: why do regional governments take different public policy options? Conceding that several factors help explain policy decisions (such as productive structure, government ideology, social capital, political context, budgetary resources), we choose to explore the impact of two of them, by asking: in what way, and to what extent, are policy decisions and actions conditioned by the financing model and by their different ideologies? We present quantitative and qualitative comparative evidence from two contrasting case studies: two regions in decentralized Spain that have developed their own policies of income and spending, and have translated them into differing public management policies and regulatory models for providing health services. These governments are ideologically different and have undergone different degrees of recent ideological changes, but the resources provided to them by the financing model have also been different. We show how resources determine the scope of governments’ actions, while ideology determines their direction.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)131-162
JournalRevista de Estudios Politicos
Volume2018
Issue number180
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2018

Keywords

  • Decentralization
  • Health system
  • Ideology
  • Public policy
  • Spain
  • Territorial financing system

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