Politics > Political Territories > Regional Government (L4)

Regional Government (L4)

Regions & Sub-Cultures

Whereas the nation-state must be primarily a single culture, the country may be of such a geographic nature, that cultural diversity exists within specific sub-territories.

Terms for Region include:Closed Province, County, Republic, Prefecture, State; and many non-English terms in non-English speaking countries.

Regions need Autonomy

This major sub-cultural division of the country potentially possesses its own complete government: legislature, judiciary and executive. If they do not possess all powers, they strive to possess as much as they can.

Example from UK:Closed The Ministers for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland were replaced recently by devolved «Assemblies» with legislative powers. Scotland has its own legal system and judiciary, but Wales does not.

The power obtained by the region is entitled: autonomy. The precise form of regional political organization varies considerably depending, as might be expected, on geography, history, and culture, as well as population size and territory size.  The more extensive the region and the more defined the sub-cultural variant, the greater the pressure for a complete government institution to sustain and develop that distinctiveness.

Examples of Regional Government:Closed US states, Australian states, Canadian provinces, Austrian Länder, Swiss cantons, Spain's «autonomous communities», German Länder.

In other cases, powers are limited in some way.

Specific concerns in regard to preserving and developing the culture include the same topics as preoccupy the national level:Closed i.e. education, social welfare, economic development professional regulation, justice, health care, housing.

Cultural-territorial Conflicts

The nation-state is often a union of regions. In a nation-state, all sub-cultures are expected to be variants of a single culture. Political union (based on cohesion) only persists if there is a common language and sufficient commonality of culture amongst the regional subdivisions. 

Examples of regional problems:Closed Spain has regions with Catalonia and Basque having distinctive languages and culture; UK with Cornwall, Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland—lands which have their own languages and histories.

It is a tricky situation: the nation-state is concerned with the same culture-based fields as the regions, but must not infringe their essential autonomy. Naturally there are conflicts at times or even all the time. Read more on cultural conflicts.

See the alternatives to Regional governance-L4.

Originally posted: August-2009; Last updated: 15-Nov-2010

All posted material is part of a scientific project and should be regarded as provisional. Visitors are encouraged to think through the topics and propositions for themselves. Copyright © Warren Kinston 2009-2016.
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