It's a glocal world

Devolution and Globalisation: Implications for Local Decision-Makers

The creation of a new Scottish Parliament two years ago was more than just a case of constitutional reform. By devolving local decision-making powers to Scotland, the UK was responding to the need for innovative governance brought on by the forces of globalisation.

Devolution and Globalisation addresses that need and takes it a step further, to show the challenges these seemingly contradictory trends have for regional and city governments.

In fact, national governments have been quietly shifting economic responsibilities and decision-making to local governments for the last 30 years, from electoral changes in Italy and post-unification Länder in Germany to American school system reform. By bringing decision-making closer to the people, national policies are both more effective and timely.

At the same time, globalisation means that cities and territories now have the potential to exploit larger markets and to tap into external sources of technology and finance. But they are also increasingly exposed to international competition and economic restructuring, facing new pressures on local labour market infrastructure and social cohesion.

The book urges local policymakers to focus on strengthening competitiveness by supporting entrepreneurship and developing human capital, and to keep an eye on increased social inequalities that can be generated by globalisation.

©OECD Observer No 228, September 2001 




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Last update: 9 September 2019

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