Luxembourg: The Challenge of Inclusive Democracy in a ‘Local State’

Patrick Dumont, Raphaël Kies and Philippe Poirier

in The Oxford Handbook of Local and Regional Democracy in Europe

Published in print November 2010 | ISBN: 9780199562978
Published online January 2011 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Politics & International Relations

Luxembourg: The Challenge of Inclusive Democracy in a ‘Local State’

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  • Regional Political Studies
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This article focuses on the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg and the organization, delimitation, and democracy within the subnational government or municipality. Luxembourg is a unitary state with a single tier of subnational government. The structure of the unitary state of the Grand Duchy combines the features of a centralized unitary state of the French tradition with the consensual political system of Belgium and the Netherlands. Many of the elements of its institutional framework are inherited from former occupations. German and French influences are evident in the territorial division, in its financial means of autonomy, and in relations of the local authorities and the central state. The interdependencies between the national and local level is also influenced by the relatively small size of the nation. Within this context, the central government of the Grand Duchy exerts a strong hold over local affairs. However, the politics at the national level and territorial reform plans are also affected by the massive presence of local office holders in parliament. Although reforms and new schemes of cooperation between municipalities and the state have been introduced, these measures have not loosened the grip of the central state on subnational authorities.

Keywords: Luxembourg; democracy; subnational government; municipality; unitary state; state; central state; politics; parliament

Article.  9421 words. 

Subjects: Politics ; Regional Political Studies ; Comparative Politics

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