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Title: Understanding institutional changes toward decentralised governance
Author: Shin, Eunkyung
ISNI:       0000 0004 6424 1911
Awarding Body: University of York
Current Institution: University of York
Date of Award: 2016
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During the last decade, about 95 per cent of democracies implemented one or more types of decentralisation reforms. Decentralisation encompasses administrative, fiscal, and political dimensions and depths of deconcentration, delegation, and devolution. The extant literature deals with origins, processes, and outcomes of decentralisation and demonstrates diverse outcomes such as subnational autonomy, accountability, economic growth, and the quality of public service delivery. This thesis investigated decentralisation empirically, methodologically, and theoretically. First, a measurement tool is developed to capture the degree of changes in subnational autonomy. Second, Falleti’s theory was applied to the first wave of decentralisation in Japan and Korea. As the results demonstrate the lack of generalisability, the author developed an historical ideological framework which explains causality from powerful actors’ ideological footholds to types of decentralisation. Finally, cross-country and cross-sector case studies confirm that powerful actors’ motivations, public consensus and institutional factors shape types of decentralisation which determine the degree of changes in subnational autonomy. As a whole, the thesis contributes to the knowledge by showing limitations of Falleti’s sequential theory of decentralisation. Empirically this thesis measures the degree of changes in subnational autonomy after the first and the second wave of decentralisation in Japan and Korea with a more nuanced and comprehensive measurement tool. Methodologically, the thesis shows limitations of theory-guided intensive process-tracing and potential advantages of extensive process-tracing. Theoretically, the thesis shows ideas combined institutional factors have causal power as strong as interests. Notwithstanding several contributions, the thesis contains some limitations and renders insights for future studies. Historical ideological causality based on decentralisation in Japan and Korea should be tested in another location to expand generalisability. The tool to measure subnational autonomy developed by the author should be improved by fine-tuning technical issues. For periodization of decentralisation, an economic perspective of post-developmental decentralisation as well as a social perspective of the expansion of Welfare State should be considered.
Supervisor: Lunt, Neil Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available