Liesbet Hooghe, Zachary Taylor Smith Professor at UNC Chapel Hill and Chair in Multilevel Governance at the VU Amsterdam
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Jan 2016|704pp|978-0-19-872887-0
Hb £66.50 £95.00



Order info: -- use code AAFLY7. Also available as e-book.

This project measures and theorizes the formal authority of intermediate or regional general-purpose government in 81 countries. The measure tracks regional authority on an annual basis from 1950 to 2010. The theory explains how scale and community shape the structure of government within and among states. Which groups at which scales have authority to make what kinds of decisions?

The project is summarized in two books:

Hooghe, Liesbet, Gary Marks, Arjan H. Schakel, Sandra Chapman Osterkatz, Sara Niedzwiecki, Sarah Shair-Rosenfield (2016). Measuring Regional Authority: A Postfunctionalist Theory of Governance, Volume I. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 687 pp.

Hooghe, Liesbet and Gary Marks (2016). Community, Scale, and Regional Governance: A Postfunctionalist Theory of Governance, Volume II.  (with Arjan H. Schakel, Sandra Chapman Osterkatz, Sara Niedzwiecki, Sarah Shair-Rosenfield). Oxford: Oxford University Press, expected August 2016.

On the RAI

The Regional Authority Index is an annual measure of the authority of regional governments across ten dimensions: institutional depth, policy scope, fiscal autonomy, borrowing autonomy, representation, law making, executive control, fiscal control, borrowing control, constitutional reform. These ten dimensions constitute two domains of authority: self-rule, or the authority a regional government exerts within its territory; and shared rule, or the authority a regional government or its representatives exerts in the country as a whole. The dataset encompasses subnational government levels with an average population of 150,000 or more. The sample consists of all EU member states, all member states of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), all Latin American countries, ten countries in Europe beyond the EU and eleven in the Pacific and South-East Asia.

The unit of analysis is the individual region/ regional tier. Where appropriate, we code more than one regional tier, and code separately regions with a special autonomous statute or asymmetrical arrangements. Individual regions with a special statute are included even if they do not meet the population criterion. Click here to read a succinct summary of the measure. Scroll to the bottom of this page to access the datasets.

On the books

Measuring Regional Authority sets out the first comprehensive measure of regional authority (Regional Authority Index-RAI). This volume has three purposes. First, it provides a valid measure of subnational government structure that is sensitive to cross-sectional and temporal variation. The measure conceives subnational governance as a multi-dimensional phenomenon that can take place at multiple scales. The second purpose of the book is to break open subnational government so that others may look inside. A distinctive feature is that the measure takes the individual region as a unit of analysis. The book's third purpose relates to measurement in general. On the premise that transparency is a fundamental virtue in measurement - a major initiative on the part of the APSA - the authors chart a new path in laying out their theoretical, conceptual, and scoring decisions before the reader. The book provides extensive discussion of conceptualization, operationalization, and measurement decisions; compares the measure with alternative measures; guides the user on how to interpret its application to gray cases; provides source justification of each coding decision in detailed country profiles.

Table of contents
[for extended ToC, click here]

1. Measuring Regional Authority
2. Crossvalidating the Regional Authority Index
3. How We Apply the Coding Scheme

Replication Chapter 1, Table 1.4 (stata do file; output log; output PDF)
Replication Chapter 1, Figure 1.2 (excel; output)
Replication Chapter 2 (stata data; stata data aggregate; stata do file)

North America [example: Canada]
Central America & the Caribbean
South America
Asia Pacific
Northern and Western Europe
Central & Eastern Europe and Russia
Southern Europe [example: Spain]





Community, Scale, and Regional Governance theorizes that the design of the structure of governance is shaped by functional pressures that arise from the logic of scale in providing public goods and by the preferences that people have regarding self-rule. The logic of scale concerns the character of the public goods provided by government: their scale economies, externalities, and informational asymmetries. The logic of community has to do with how people conceive and construct the groups to which they feel themselves belonging. The authors theorize that scale and community underpin the growth of multiple tiers over the past six decades (Chapter 3), explain how jurisdictions are designed (Chapter 4), or why government has become differentiated (Chapter 5), and shape the extent to which regions exert authority (Chapter 6). The theory can be described as postfunctionalist because it rejects the idea that form follows function.

Table of contents


1. Scale and Community

2. Measuring Regional Authority

3. Trends in Regional Authority

4. Designing Jurisdictions

5. Community and Differentiated Governance

6. Community and The Structure of Governance

7. Five Theses on Regional Governance


About the Data*

Data for the Regional Authority Index (RAI) are in two datasets: one with annual scores for 231 regional governments/tiers in 65 countries for the period 1950-2010, and one aggregating these scores to the country level plus with country-level scores for an additional 16 countries that do not have regional governments.

Regional data

Country data

(Regional scores aggregated to the country)

Additional Documentation

* March 2016

Citation for the dataset:
Hooghe, Liesbet, Gary Marks, Arjan H. Schakel, Sandi Chapman Osterkatz,
Sara Niedzwiecki, Sarah Shair-Rosenfield (2016). Measuring Regional Authority: A Postfunctionalist Theory of Governance, Volume I. Oxford: Oxford University Press.




Prior work:

Liesbet Hooghe, Gary Marks, Arjan H. Schakel. 2010.  The Rise of Regional Authority: a comparative study of 42 democracies (1950-2006).(London: Routledge).

For a discussion of the reliability of the data and a preliminary analysis please consult:

Special issue on "Measuring Regional Authority", Regional and Federal Studies (2008), 18, 2-3: 111-302.
Authors: Liesbet Hooghe; Gary Marks; Arjan H. Schakel

Measuring Regional Authority
Authors: Gary Marks; Liesbet Hooghe; Arjan H. Schakel

Operationalizing Regional Authority: A Coding Scheme for 42 Countries, 1950-2006
Authors: Liesbet Hooghe; Gary Marks; Arjan H. Schakel

Validation of the Regional Authority Index
Author: Arjan H. Schakel

Patterns of Regional Authority
Authors: Gary Marks; Liesbet Hooghe; Arjan H. Schakel

Appendix A: Profiles of Regional Reform in 42 Countries (1950-2006)
Authors: Liesbet Hooghe; Arjan H. Schakel; Gary Marks

Appendix B: Country and Regional Scores
Authors: Liesbet Hooghe; Arjan H. Schakel; Gary Marks

Appendix C: A Library on Regional Authority
Author: Arjan H. Schakel

The published version is downloadable from the Regional and Federal Studies website through your institute/university or directly from the Taylor & Francis website.