Subnational Regionalism
and Dynamics of Multi-Level Politics
(Russian and European Practices)
The other projects:
The project is supported by the Russian Science Foundation under Grant №19-18-00053 and carried out by the group of researchers from Perm Research Center of the Ural Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences (Department of Political Institutions and Processes) and Perm University (Political Science Department)
The project will be implemented in 2019-2021.
Leader of the project: Dr. Petr Panov, Perm Research Center of the Ural Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences, principal researcher. E-mail:
The project aims to determine the scale and mechanisms of the influence of variations and models of subnational regionalism (among other factors) on the configuration and dynamics of multi-level governance.
The role of the state is really changing in contemporary world, however it is not in the logic of a zero-sum game (“disappearing”), but rather in the logic of transformation of the relationships between different levels of government. The multi-level governmental interactions, previously having primarily hierarchical administrative logic, obtains a political dimension and is transformed into multi-level interactions. Furthermore, non-governmental actors are more and more actively involving in policy-making process. As a result, multi-level governance (MLG) as a specific configuration of multi-level politics is emerging.
One of the key driving forces of emerging and dynamics of multi-level governance is regionalism in its various manifestations - supranational, subnational, transnational. The focus of the project is subnational regionalism though it will be studied in conjunction with supranational and transnational regionalism.
The key idea of the project is that depending on the characteristics of subnational regionalism, different practices of incorporating regions into a multi-level political process and configurations of multi-level governance are institutionalized. During the implementation of the project, a systematic and fairly large-scale country coverage (for the first time including Russia) comparative study will be conducted for the first time.
The main concepts
Subnational regionalism is understood as ideology and movement of the subnational community, aimed at the political constituting of the subnational administrative-territorial unit, its acquisition of political subjectivity, its inclusion in the political process.
Regionalism should be considered as a complex phenomenon that differs (and has to be classified) in several dimensions: a) constituent ground of regional identity (historical, geographical, economic, ethnocultural, etc.); b) political purposes (reactive - proactive); c) political mobilization strategies (moderate - radical); d) place in the party-ideological spectrum from the view of a political position regarding national problems (left-right scale); e) the degree of internal consolidation of regionalist movement (consolidated - fragmented); f) the intensity of regional identity in the context of an identification matrix, etc.
Multi-level politics is assumed as a new mode of political interactions which are characterized by pluralistic, dispersed activity of a great number of actors, which interact with each other at different and interrelated levels of government.
Basic configurations of multi-level politics: two dimensions
Gary Marks & Liesbet Hooghe. 2003. Unraveling the Central State. But How? Types of Multi-level Governance, American Political Science Review 97(2): 233-243.
Christopher Alcantara, Jörg Broschek & Jen Nelles. 2016. Rethinking Multilevel Governance as an Instance of Multilevel Politics: A Conceptual Strategy. - Territory, Politics, Governance 4(1): 33-51.
C. Alcantara, J. Broschek and J. Nelles distinguish the two basic configurations of multi-level politics: 1) “intergovernmental relations” (IGR), which include regional and local governments in policy process; 2) “multi-level governance” (MLG), which assumes that non-governmental actors of different levels are involved in policy process. The other and rather dynamic dimension of the configuration of multi-level political interactions was developed by G. Marks and L. Hooghe. Here the Type I is characterized by fairly institutionalized and unified (from the view of the different administrative units) in a single logic of actors’ engagement in policy process. Unlike, the Type II is characterized by flexible and diversified practices of inclusion of actors. It means that various sets of actors and rules of their interactions appear on different arenas and in the relation with different territorial units.
The combination of these two dimensions provides the theoretical framework for analyzing multi-level politics and allows recording and analyze variability of multi-level politics in different parameters: the set and composition of actors - participants of the interactions, the nature and forms of their interactions, the degree of their formalization and unification in various policy areas, etc. Thus, in some cases, only public authorities of different levels, for example, the central and regional government / governor or relevant ministries and departments, participate in policy formulation and decision-making. In other cases, various non-governmental actors of different levels – ethno-cultural organizations, business associations, expert communities, etc. - are involved in the process. Special bodies such as coordination councils, multilateral commissions, etc. are created. In some cases, the set of participants and the role of each of them, as well as the rules of interactions at each stage of the policy process (policy initiation, formulation, decision-making, policy implementation) are strictly fixed, formalized and unified. In other cases, there is a flexible dynamic, when the distribution of functions / powers of various actors, as well as the special bodies that arise, occurs in the process of coordination, negotiations and depends on the correlation of their resources and interests on specific issues. Generally, all these are determined in the process of interactions and differently in dissimilar situations.
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The project is supported by the
Russian Science Foundation
Perm State University
Russia, 614990, Perm,
Bukireva street, 15
Perm Scientific Centre
Russia, 614990, Perm,
Lenina street, 13a
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