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Government Performance, Identity, and Support for Further Devolution in Europe

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Author: Bell, Nicholas Jacob
Advisor: Clemens, Clay, 1958-
Committee Members: Rapoport, Ronald; Beneš, Tuska
Issued Date: 2012-04-25
Subjects: Europe
Further devolution
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10288/16698
Description: Over the past three decades, Europe has witnessed a growing trend of devolution, or the transfer of power from states to their regions. Much of the previous scholarship has examined the causes of initial devolution, and found that the creation of regional institutions is linked to unique regional identities. This thesis examines whether these identities still matters to voters when making decisions about further devolution. Working from the premise that voters can assess the material utility of devolution after regional governments have been established, and that voters will weigh considerations of material utility more strongly than assessments of expressive utility (identity), this thesis tests whether voters' policy and affective satisfaction with regional government displaces identity as the determining factor of support for further devolution. This study uses polling data from two European case studies, Wales and Catalonia, and finds that while satisfaction does displace identity in both cases, the nature and meaning of identity affects its role in voters decision-making.
Degree: Bachelors of Arts in International Relations

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