Regionalism (politics)  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

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.

Contents

Arguments for regionalism

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.

Arguments against regionalism

Regionalsim is associated with denying, or preventing universalism.

Regionalist parties

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

Examples of regionalist parties include Regionalist Action Party of Chile in Chile (northern parts), the Savoy Region Movement in France (Savoy), The Friesen and South Schleswig Voter Federation in Germany (East Frisia) and Telugu Desam Party in India (Andhra Pradesh). Examples of regional parties include the regionalist parties cited before, the Christian Social Union of Bavaria, the IDS-DDI, Alliance of Primorje-Gorski Kotar, Slavonia-Baranja Croatian Party, Democratic Party of Zagorje of Croatia, the NCCL-DWCMP and Midwest Social Regionalist Party in the Middle West of the USA, and almost all Belgian parties.

Lists

Lists of regional and regionalist parties are available at:

Autonomism

Regionalism may or may not include autonomism. Examples of autonomist parties include Action démocratique du Québec in Canada (Quebec), New Democratic Macau Association in China (Macau), Martinican Progressive Party (Martinique) and Communist Party of Réunion (Réunion) in France, Lega Nord in Italy (Northern Italy) and Popular Democratic Party of Puerto Rico in the United States (Puerto Rico).

Nationalism

One must distinguish between regionalist parties which support autonomy and nationalist/independentist movements which support independence. In the latter are included the likes of Frente para a Libertação do Enclave de Cabinda (FLEC) in Angola (Cabinda province), the Nieuw-Vlaamse Alliantie and the Vlaams Belang and in Belgium (Flanders), the Basque Nationalist Party (Basque country), Convergence and Union (Catalonia) and the Republican Left of Catalonia (Catalonia) in Spain and the Scottish National Party (Scotland) and Plaid Cymru (Wales) in the United Kingdom. Sometimes, the Lega Nord has formerly been independentist too.

See also

Concepts

Specific issues





Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Regionalism (politics)" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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