Institut für Föderalismus
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Local governance in federal and unitary states: an ongoing debate

In-house Seminar, 8 May 2012 at the Institute of Federalism

After a period of intense research, our Guest-researcher Dr. Maliheh Rezaeizadeh successfully completed her stay at the Institute of Federalism (IF). But before leaving Switzerland for her home country, Iran, Dr. Rezaeizadeh presented her study on Local Government in Unitary and Federal States at one of our regular In-House seminars. In her talk Dr. Rezaeizadeh, based on a thorough analysis of Switzerland’s local governance structure, compared and discussed local governance systems in unitary and federal states (with a special focus on Iran). Dr. Rezaeizadeh showed that even within highly centralized states local governance can be a fruitful enhancement for the citizens and highlighted how Iran’s Islamic councils already represent an institutional mechanism that could be elaborated into a broader local governance structure. Dr. Rezaeizadeh’s presentation, attended also by IF guest-researchers from Spain, China, Nepal and Ethiopia, was followed by a lively discussion about the prerogatives of local governance in unitary and federal states with comments and questions from the Institute’s Professors and staff.