Regionalism and Governing Style in the UK and Japan : A Comparative View on Devolution
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Regionalism is leading the transformation of governing style in modern nation states. The causes of regionalism cannot be described just as the roots of the existence of original history nor identity derived from territory. Rather, the differences of both countries are explained from how the meaning of a region is revealed in the real political processes. In the UK, political factors are the most important elements which have promoted devolution besides the strength of regional identities. In addition, policy factors are also pointed out that most people expected devolution would improve the qualities of public policies. In Japan, policy factors which make it possible for localities to seek their own economic development policies are the biggest momentum for regionalism. In contrast, political factors, which could contribute to revitalise local democracy, are too weak to promote regionalism. Rather, many political actors are interested in devolution as a means of an administrative reform. Furthermore, the differences of regional governance in the two countries should be explained from the features of governing systems. The British governing system consists of territorial policy communities, which are formed in accordance with each region, and territorial ministries in addition to functional policy communities and functional ministries since pre-devolution. In Japan, there have been territorial policy communities and ministries in Hokkaido and Okinawa since the post-war era, but their main domains are limited to economic development policies. Rather, the Japanese governing system features an accumulation of functional policy communities, which deliver uniform public policies across the country, with functional ministries.
- Annals, Public Policy Studies
Annals, Public Policy Studies 4 111-124, 2010-03-31