Data Set Description for Chapter 3: The Regional Authority Index (RAI)

Data Exercise Contributor: Jens Wäckerle


The Regional Authority Index measures multilevel governance across the world. The data is collected by Liesbet Hooghe, Gary Marks, Arjan H. Schakel, Sandi Chapman Osterkatz, Sara Niedzwiecki, and Sarah Shair-Rosenfield and extensively described in two books, “Measuring Regional Authority: A Postfunctionalist Theory of Governance: Volume I” and “Community, Scale, and Regional Governance: A Postfunctionalist Theory of Governance: Volume II.”. The dataset can be accessed here. We will present the dataset below. While reading, please keep in mind the questions below and answer them once you reached the end. In the final panel, we will provide a link to a platform with an interactive version of the dataset and additional tasks.

Table 1: General Tasks for the Dataset
Within Europe, which countries have particularly high levels of self-rule and which have high levels of shared rule?
What are the reasons why some countries have high shared rule while other have high self-rule?
Why are there differences in regional autonomy between regions within a country?

Dataset Description

Overall Information

The dataset covers 81 countries over the period from 1950 to 2010. Data is collected on the regional level, which are the authority levels between local government and national government. In each country, this means that there might be several distinct levels of authority in the dataset. For example, in Germany, there are data on both the Länder and also on “Kreise” (cities or collections of municipalities). In France, there are data both on the level of Départments and on Régions. In the UK, data exists for counties and regions. The depth of data varies with the degree of delegation of power to the subnational level.

Figure 1: Regional Authority Index 2010

Figure 1: Regional Authority Index 2010

Data for Europe

As outlined in Chapter 3 of the book, the RAI provides extensive coverage of Europe. The RAI is particularly high in Spain and Germany (in fact these two countries have the highest RAI in the dataset in 2010), and considerably lower in Finland and Portugal.