Comparing and Measuring Subnational Autonomy across Three Continents

  • Helder Ferreira Do Vale Hankuk University of Foreign Studies, HUFS, # 802, Faculty Building II, 107 Imun-ro, Dongdaemun-gu, Seoul, 130-791
Keywords: comparative local government, decentralization, local autonomy, mid-range theorization


The literature on comparative local government has been primarily focused on measurement of local governments while it has fallen short in theorizing on diverse structures, dynamics, and functioning of local governments throughout the world. This article posits that large data sets measuring local government indicators help to accumulate knowledge but fail to identify and explain the main dynamics behind local governments activities and processes. Attempting to increase comparability of local government across different regions, this article builds on qualitative indicators of decentralization in three sub-regions—South America, South Asia and Southern Africa—and assesses the evolution of subnational autonomy in the most decentralized countries in these sub-regions; namely, Brazil, India and South Africa.

Author Biography

Helder Ferreira Do Vale, Hankuk University of Foreign Studies, HUFS, # 802, Faculty Building II, 107 Imun-ro, Dongdaemun-gu, Seoul, 130-791
Assistant Professor


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