- Regionalism (politics)
politics, regionalism is a political ideologythat focuses on the interests of a particular regionor 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 statewith 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 competitivenesslevels 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 partypromoting 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 Partyand Plaid Cymruin the United Kingdom, the Basque Nationalist Party, Convergence and Unionand the Republican Left of Cataloniain Spain, and Lega Nordin Italy, while examples of regional parties include the regionalist parties cited before, the Christian Social Union of Bavariaand almost all Belgian parties.
Political parties of minorities
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
North-South divide in the United Kingdom
Communities, regions and language areas of Belgium
Nationalisms and regionalisms of Spain
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