The Survival of Spanish Provincial Governments in a Quasi-Federal Polity: Reframing the Debate

Jean Baptiste Harguindéguy*, Alistair Mark COLE

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)226-239
Number of pages14
JournalInternational Journal of Public Administration
Volume40
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 23 Feb 2017

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Public Administration

User-Defined Keywords

  • Devolution
  • local government
  • regional politics
  • Spain

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