Despite harsh criticisms, Spanish provincial governments (diputaciones) have survived for 200 years and have remained practically unchanged since the Transition. The survival of diputaciones in a proto-regional state is clearly a paradox that requires consideration of a range of potential explanations. Drawing upon extensive empirical investigation within and around three provincial governments in 2013–2014 (Seville, Barcelona, and Valencia), the survival of the diputaciones is illuminated by the path dependency and functional arguments, but it is most convincingly explained in terms of cartel (party) politics. The impact of the 2008 economic crisis has stretched these “party bargains” to breaking point.
Scopus Subject Areas
- Business and International Management
- Public Administration
- local government
- regional politics