Title

Corruption and support for decentralisation

Date of Publication

2020 12:00 AM

Security Theme

Political Stability

Keywords

Corruption, decentralisation

Description

Existing explanations of individual preferences for decentralisation and secession focus on collective identity, economic considerations and party politics. This paper contributes to this literature by showing that preferences for fiscal and political decentralisation are also driven by concern about the quality of government in the face of corruption. It makes two claims. Firstly, information on national-level corruption decreases satisfaction with national politicians, and subsequently increases preferences for decentralisation and secession. Secondly, information on regional-level corruption pushes citizens of highly corrupt regions to prefer national retrenchment and unitary states. The effects of this political compensation mechanism crosscut national identities and involve regions that are not ethnically or economically different from the core. We test our argument using a survey experiment in Spain and confirm its cross-national generalisability with data from the European Values Study.

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Jan 1st, 12:00 AM

Corruption and support for decentralisation

Existing explanations of individual preferences for decentralisation and secession focus on collective identity, economic considerations and party politics. This paper contributes to this literature by showing that preferences for fiscal and political decentralisation are also driven by concern about the quality of government in the face of corruption. It makes two claims. Firstly, information on national-level corruption decreases satisfaction with national politicians, and subsequently increases preferences for decentralisation and secession. Secondly, information on regional-level corruption pushes citizens of highly corrupt regions to prefer national retrenchment and unitary states. The effects of this political compensation mechanism crosscut national identities and involve regions that are not ethnically or economically different from the core. We test our argument using a survey experiment in Spain and confirm its cross-national generalisability with data from the European Values Study.