Decentralizing for a deeper, more supple democracy

Jean Paul Faguet, Ashley M. Fox, Caroline Pöschl

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


We review recent evidence regarding decentralization and state strength and argue that decentralization can deepen democracy without compromising state strength if adequately designed. We examine how decentralization affects five key aspects of state strength: 1) Authority over territory and people, 2) Conflict prevention 3) Policy autonomy and the ability to uphold the law, 4) Responsive, accountable service provision, and 5) Social learning. We provide specific reform paths that should lead to strengthening in each.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)60-74
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Democracy
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2015
Externally publishedYes


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