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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/32661

Title: Accommodative Capacity of Multinational States
Authors: Basta, Karlo
Advisor: Kopstein, Jeffrey
Department: Political Science
Keywords: federalism
multinational federalism
nationalism
accommodation
ethnic conflict
state
decentralization
centralization
political institutions
comparative institutional dynamics
Issue Date: 20-Aug-2012
Abstract: This dissertation explains the extent and durability of the institutions of territorial autonomy in multinational states. Its main argument is that the viability of territorial autonomy hinges on the relative economic importance of the minority-inhabited region for the central government. If the fiscal resources of the minority-inhabited region are critical for the funding of the central government’s policy objectives, autonomy is likely to be limited and short lived. If those resources are not as crucial for the governability of the entire state, autonomy is likely to be more extensive and durable. The importance of the minority-inhabited region depends on two sets of factors. The first is the relative level of economic development of majority and minority-inhabited areas. The second is the strategy of governance adopted by the central state elites. Strategies of governance determine the extent of the fiscal burden that the central government will place on the population of the state, thereby exerting significant influence on accommodative outcomes. The theoretical framework developed in this dissertation refers to statist (high spending) and laissez-faire (low spending) strategies of governance. The framework is tested in four multinational states: the former Yugoslavia, the former Czechoslovakia, Canada and Spain. The empirical chapters combine structured-focused comparison with longitudinal case study analysis. The cases largely bear out the hypotheses presented in the dissertation. However, analysis of the cases also demonstrates the importance of minority-group influence at the central state level in accounting for accommodative outcomes. In cases where minority elites have extensive influence at the centre, attempts at limiting the autonomy of minority-inhabited regions tend to be unsuccessful. This thesis contributes to a greater understanding of the design and durability of the institutions of territorial autonomy, which have important consequences for the stability and viability of multinational states.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/32661
Appears in Collections:Doctoral

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