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regionalism


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The practice of or belief in regional government. Regionalism may be distinguished from federalism, in which the lower tier of government has a protected sphere where the upper tier cannot intervene; and from devolution, in which the upper tier devolves to the lower tier powers that are then difficult to take back (such as the power of internal self‐government that the government of the United Kingdom gave to Northern Ireland between 1920 and 1972). The term regionalism is therefore better applied to regimes (such as France) in which there are, or might be, regions, but where regions are a creation of central government which may be as easily destroyed as created. England is divided into standard regions which are widely used for statistical and administrative purposes but have no political representation (unlike Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland). In 1993 the European Union established a Committee on the Regions on which elected local officials serve. In the United Kingdom the process was introduced after a cross‐party revolt against a government proposal to nominate its own appointees to the committee.

Subjects: Law — Politics.


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