Intergovernmental relations serve several purposes: to resolve conflicts of competence; to deal with overlaps and externalities; to harmonize policies; and to respond to new policy challenges. The United Kingdom is not a federation but an asymmetrically devolved system where the central government doubles up as the government of the largest part. This makes the application of federal intergovernmental theory problematic. At the same time, federations are tending to move from cooperative to competitive federalism. There is no case for greater policy harmonization. On the contrary, the increased divergences between the dominant English legislative majority and majorities in the devolved territories points to increased autonomy and less harmonization. There is scope for policy learning within competitive devolution, particularly on new policy challenges.
|Number of pages||17|
|Journal||British Journal of Politics and International Relations|
|Early online date||3 Apr 2012|
|Publication status||Published - May 2012|
- Intergovernmental relations