Regionalism (politics)

Regionalism (politics)

In politics, regionalism is a political ideology that focuses on the interests of a particular region or group of regions, whether traditional or formal (administrative divisions, country subdivisions, political divisions, subnational units). Regionalism centers on increasing the region's influence and political power, either through movements for limited form of autonomy (devolution, states' rights, decentralization) or through stronger measures for a greater degree of autonomy (sovereignty, separatism, independence). Regionalists often favor loose federations or confederations over a unitary state with a strong central government. Regionalism may be contrasted with "nationalism".

Proponents of regionalism say that strengthening a region's governing bodies and political powers within a larger country would create efficiencies of scale to the region, promote decentralization, develop a more rational allocation of the region's resources for benefit of the local populations, increase the efficient implementation of local plans, raise competitiveness levels among the regions and ultimately the whole country, and save taxpayers money.

In some countries, the development of regionalist politics may be a prelude to further demands for greater autonomy or even full separation, especially when ethnic and cultural disparities are present. This was demonstrated in the late 1980s in Yugoslavia, among other examples.

A regionalist party is a regional political party promoting autonomy for its region; a regional party is a political party with its base almost entirely in a single region. All regionalist parties are also regional, while only a portion of regional parties are also regionalist. Because regional parties often cannot receive enough votes or legislative seats to be politically powerful, they may join political alliances or seek to be part of a coalition government.

Examples of regionalist parties include the Scottish National Party and Plaid Cymru in the United Kingdom, the Basque Nationalist Party, Convergence and Union and the Republican Left of Catalonia in Spain, and Lega Nord in Italy, while examples of regional parties include the regionalist parties cited before, the Christian Social Union of Bavaria and almost all Belgian parties.

ee also


* Secession
* Federalism
* Parochialism
* Decentralization
* Self-governance
* Self-determination
* Political parties of minorities

Political parties

Lists of regional and regionalist parties are available at:
*European Free Alliance
*List of political parties campaigning for self-government
*List of active autonomist and secessionist movements
*List of historical autonomist and secessionist movements

pecific issues

*North-South divide in the United Kingdom
*Communities, regions and language areas of Belgium
*Nationalisms and regionalisms of Spain

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