Pub. date: 2011 | Online Pub. Date: October 04, 2011 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412994163 | Print ISBN: 9781412959636 | Online ISBN: 9781412994163| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
The concept of autonomy is polysemous in scientific literature and can be used in very different contexts. When used with the word subnational , the concept refers to the degree of autonomy in governments below the level of central government, with the exception of local governments. Examples include the Canadian provinces, the U.S. states, the Spanish autonomous communities, the regions and communities in Belgium, the German and Austrian Länder , and the French departments and regions. Autonomy refers to the degree of decisional autonomy, sovereignty or self-government within a nation-state, enjoyed by these subnational governments. This entry first discusses subnational autonomy and the structure of the state. Second, it describes the power, resources, and influence of subnational governments. Regionalization is discussed in the third section, the fourth section deals with multilevel governance and subnational autonomy, and the final one examines minority nationalism and subnational autonomy Because nation-states vary in their ...