WG III: Territorial/Functional Re-Scaling

Territorial And Functional Reforms

Research Focus/Objectives
Guiding Questions
Research Methods/Data Collection
Possible Next Steps And Expected Results

Research Focus/Objectives

Our focus lies within the territorial and functional reforms in Europe, eventually using the theoretical framework of action-centred institutionalism. We will comparatively analyse framing, strategies and outcomes of these reforms.

Guiding Questions

  • The “why-question”: Public debate and new ideas, arguments for and against re-scaling, perceptions of desirable and/or feasible changes, chance events and windows of opportunity (or barriers and blockades)
  • The “how-question”: Content of reform package, implementation process and achievement of reforms within a concrete “reform arena”.
  • The “what-question”: Implying a description and an evaluation of the reform outcome and its possible impacts on immediate and surrounding contexts.

Research Methods/Data Collection

WGIII will use qualitative and quantitative methods. Transnational networking through COST makes it possible to take advantage of national literature, databanks and primary research that could not be accessible due to language barriers. Furthermore, WGIII members can introduce own research results, with the possibility of discussing case studies involving examples of territorial or/and functional re-scaling. Subsequently, each member will prepare a report on “the state of the art of national research”. Each WGIII member will bring a short description of re-scaling reforms for their or multiple countries following a pre-defined pattern. Furthermore, each WGIII member (possibly also from other WG’s) will answer an extensive questionnaire on territorial reforms that has been prepared by a sub-group (Leader, co-leaders of WGIII, and COST Chair). To reinforce this, another questionnaire on territorial reforms (taking also advantage of experience made through the first “territorial” questionnaire) will be circulated among the members of the group. Finally, WGIII will consider the possibility of preparing a questionnaire on territorial/functional reforms that will be circulated by WGIII members to citizens and/or decision makers of the involved countries of the Action, taking advantage of sampling and implying statistical methods.

Possible Next Steps And Expected Results

The next step will be the circulation of the first “territorial” questionnaire, addressed to members of WGIII. Afterwards, the responses of WGIII members will be used in order to prepare a first comparative report on territorial rescaling. A following step will be the circulation of the second “functional” questionnaire, also addressed to experts, namely WGIII members and a second comparative report will be prepared (this time on functional rescaling). Finally, a third (territorial-functional) questionnaire will be possibly addressed to citizens and/or decision makers in European municipalities. We expect to have at least one comparative book and several papers written and published on territorial and functional reforms in Europe, based on the research that will be conducted within the framework of WGIII. Another possible result could be the elaboration of decentralization indexes, which seems to be a very ambitious and complicated task.

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