Studies in Comparative International Development

, Volume 38, Issue 3, pp 57–80

Decentralization and municipal governance: Suggested approaches for cross-regional analysis

  • Eduardo J. Gómez
Research Forum: Decentralization

DOI: 10.1007/BF02686199

Cite this article as:
Gómez, E.J. St Comp Int Dev (2003) 38: 57. doi:10.1007/BF02686199


The study of decentralization and municipal governance has captured much scholarly attention. This article highlights the importance of factors that have been generally ignored, and, in the process, suggests dimensions that facilitate comparison, including at the cross-regional level. First, regarding the creation and reform of decentralization policy, scholars may compare cases based on thehorizontal andex-post vertical political processes of reform. Second, cases can be compared based on the degree of center-statepolicy fluctuation, i.e., the institutions and incentives generating continual policy change and delayed outcomes, over time. Finally, I encourage scholars to scale down to the municipal level, comparing cases based on the following variables: historical state-municipal fiscal relations, institutional innovations, and the policy-making process. I close by explaining the various benefits associated with these approaches and the new research questions and challenges that they pose for comparative scholars.

Copyright information

© Springer 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Eduardo J. Gómez

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