Advising Regional and Federal Studies

In June 2018, I was invited to join the Editorial Advisory Board of Regional and Federal Studies, one of the leading journals exploring territorial politics, federalism and regionalism. The journal carefully reviews, selects and publishes high-quality articles dealing with various aspects of regionalism and federalism crossing substantive, thematic, geographical, theoretical, and methodological boundaries. The journal’s content spans federalism and multi-level government, decentralization in the developing world, post-conflict federal power-sharing arrangements, minority nationalist movements, and many other topics dealing with divided political authority and territorial diversity. Although the journal’s roots are in the study of Western European multi-level government, RFS has expanded its profile to incorporate regionalism, federalism and decentralization in the developing world and in the Americas.  I have always appreciated this journal and look forward to strengthening the expertise available to RFS editors, providing strategic guidance and promoting the journal further.

Ethno-Regional Diversity and Political Integration in Eastern Europe

A seminar  for PhD students at Kazakh National University Al’-Farabi, Almaty

Eastern Europe has been shaped by historically late state and nation building. Due to this trajectory, questions of state identity and cohesion have acquired persisting political relevance. Ethnopolitical conflicts have led to the disintegration of all three state socialist federations. Ethnopolitical cleavages structure party systems in the new nation states of Eastern Europe, particularly where they are related to persisting ethnoregional diversity. read more

Paths and Constraints of Subnational Government Mobilization in East-Central Europe

Article in: Regional and Federal Studies 24 3 2014, 301-319.


The article studies the impact of enlargement on subnational governments in the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland. It compares the resources and political constellations of subnational governments and analyzes how these variables interact with Europeanization to influence domestic intergovernmental relations, the management of Structural Funds and the EU relations of subnational governments. The article argues that stronger regional governments (in Poland and the Czech Republic) have been able to resist attempts to centralize intergovernmental relations. Decentralizing reforms occurred where incumbent governing parties dominated subnational government (Poland). Under ‘vertically divided’ government (Czech Republic), subnational governments sought unmediated access to EU institutions. read more

Federalism and Governance Winter School

A lecture series on ethno-regional diversity and political integration in Central and Eastern Europe, European Academy Bozen/Bolzano, Winter School Federalism and Governance, 12 February 2014

(c) Martin Brusis
(c) Martin Brusis


• Does ethno-regional diversity still matter in Central and Eastern Europe
• How have CEE regions emerged?
• Why have the state socialist federations collapsed?
• What approaches exist to integrate ethno-regional diversity?
• Why have CEE states reformed their territorial organization?
• How does European integration affect regionalization in CEE? read more

Party Strategies and Administrative-Territorial Reforms in Poland

Article in: West European Politics 36 2 2013, 405-425


How well do electoral competition, ideological divides and territory-based cleavages explain the strategies of administrative-territorial reform chosen by political parties in Poland? The role of these logics is explored in the creation of regions and regional self-governments (1999), local electoral reform (2002), rules of adopting regional development projects (2006) and the creation of metropolitan regions (2008). The paper provides evidence supporting the salience of vote- and office-seeking strategies, the rise of a national-conservative opposition to decentralisation associated with the weakening of the post-communist divide, and parties representing distinct eastern and western constituencies. Since its creation, subnational government has become more dominated by state-wide parties and has stabilised the emerging bloc party system on the central level. read more

Regionalisierung in Mittel- und Osteuropa: Ursachen, Formen und Effekte

in: Kommunale Aufgabenwahrnehmung im Wandel: Kommunalisierung, Regionalisierung und Territorialreform in Deutschland und Europa, Hrsg.: J. Bogumil / S. Kuhlmann, Wiesbaden: VS 2010, 323-346.

Dieser Beitrag beschäftigt sich zunächst mit den Ursachen und Formen der Regionalisierungsprozesse in den zehn mittel- und osteuropäischen EU-Mitgliedstaaten. Unter Regionalisierung werden hier Reformen verstanden, die eine regionale Verwaltungsebene errichten und/oder ihre Kompetenzen und Ressourcen stärken. Dann werden die Effekte dieser Prozesse für die kommunalen Selbstverwaltungskörperschaften analysiert. Die kommunale Ebene war nicht nur Adressatin dieser Reformprozesse, sondern auch Akteurin, insofern als kommunale Verbände und Politiker in den Debatten über die Regionalisierung ihre eigenen Interessen vertraten. Aus der kommunalen Perspektive konnte eine Regionalisierung eine Dezentralisierung ermöglichen, aber barg auch das Risiko einer Rezentralisierung von Kompetenzen. read more

White Paper on Multi-Level Governance

In 2009, the EU Committee of Regions adopted a White Paper on Multi-Level Governance. During the public consultation of this document, I prepared the following opinion:

From a theoretical perspective, the most convincing strategy of institutional design would be to ensure a congruence between those affected by policies and those eligible to elect the political representatives who decide on these policies. Such a congruence of constituencies would create the best conditions for policymakers to be held accountable for their policies and thus strengthen the incentives for responsive policymaking. In contrast, an incongruence between those responsible for and those affected by a policy would provide incentives for unaccountable and unresponsive policymaking (e.g. negative external effects, moral hazard, freeriding). read more