Decentralization in Unitary States: Constitutional Frameworks for the Arab States Region

The Center for Constitutional Transitions, International IDEA and United Nations Development Program Reports: Constitutional Design in the Middle East and North Africa (2015) (also translated into Arabic). ISBN: 978-91-87729-87-4

142 Pages Posted: 12 Sep 2017

See all articles by Sujit Choudhry

Sujit Choudhry

Center for Global Constitutionalism, WZB Berlin Social Science Center

Richard Stacey

University of Toronto, Faculty of Law

Date Written: 2015

Abstract

Decentralization involves the transfer of responsibility and authority from the central government to the provincial level of government, the local level of government, or both. Decentralization has the potential to deepen democratic values and improve the quality of life in neglected communities, and thus is an important topic to consider during democratic transitions. This report considers the relevance of decentralization to the democratic transitions and constitutional (re)construction in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. The report explores the benefits that decentralization holds for the MENA region, as democratic reconstruction proceeds, and points out that democratic reconstruction presents a good opportunity to establish a system of decentralized local government. The constitutional design options presented and analysed in this report are intended as a resource for countries in the process of political decentralization. The focus of this report is decentralization within unitary countries. Whereas federal countries usually transfer political authority to regional governments (i.e. to provinces or states), unitary countries do not necessarily have regional political units. For this reason, the local level of government (i.e. municipalities or counties) is more relevant to the consideration of unitary, decentralized countries or unitary countries that are in the process of decentralizing. The report therefore focuses on the decentralization of political authority to the local level of government.

Suggested Citation

Choudhry, Sujit and Stacey, Richard, Decentralization in Unitary States: Constitutional Frameworks for the Arab States Region (2015). The Center for Constitutional Transitions, International IDEA and United Nations Development Program Reports: Constitutional Design in the Middle East and North Africa (2015) (also translated into Arabic). ISBN: 978-91-87729-87-4. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3025935

Sujit Choudhry (Contact Author)

Center for Global Constitutionalism, WZB Berlin Social Science Center ( email )

Reichpietschufer 50
D-10785 Berlin, 10785
Germany

Richard Stacey

University of Toronto, Faculty of Law ( email )

78 and 84 Queen's Park
Toronto, Ontario M5S 2C5
Canada

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