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Converging Regional Education Policy in France and Germany

  • Enlarges the scope of regional policymaking studies by highlighting its main dimension in the education realm

  • Develops an analysis of regional policymaking which aims to be relevant for the majority of European regional governments

  • Contributes to key debates in the literature about territorial politics and European state reconfiguration


Part of the Comparative Territorial Politics book series (COMPTPOL)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-viii
  2. Claire Dupuy
    Pages 117-163
  3. Back Matter
    Pages 201-210

About this book


How have regionalization processes across Europe impacted on policy convergence? This book takes as its starting point the curious fact that autonomous regional policymaking may be parallel to regional governments pursuing policy similarity. The author proposes that these observations are paradoxical only if sector-specific policy norms are disregarded and when autonomy is considered as the exclusive goal of regional governments. Focusing on common yet under-studied regional situations where a sense of cultural or historical distinctiveness is not readily apparent, if at all, the book argues that in policy sectors where norms of territorial equality have long been dominant, regional governments endorse them as a way to secure or expand their policy capacity when the central state or other policy entrepreneurs challenge it. This results in converging policies. A textured comparative account of educational policymaking in German Länder and French conseils régionaux over three decades forms the backbone of this analysis of policymaking in ordinary regions.

Claire Dupuy is Professor of Comparative Politics at ISPOLE, University of Louvain, Belgium.


regionalization processes autonomous policymaking regional policies policy responsibilities financial autonomy French regional governments German regional governments territorial equality regional policy politicization politicization of education policy institutional politicization policy uniformity horizontal coordination policy convergence comparative politics French education policy Germany education policy French politics German politics

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.Institut de sciences politiques Louvain-Europe - ISPOLEUniversity of LouvainLouvain-la-NeuveBelgium

About the authors

Claire Dupuy is Professor of Comparative Politics at ISPOLE, University of Louvain, Belgium.

Bibliographic information

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“In debates on territorial structures of the state, we often find an inconsistent reasoning. While many advocate regionalization of the state in general, they criticize interregional policy divergence and inequality of public services when specific policies are concerned. Claire Dupuy challenges this proposition. In her comparative study on regional education policy in France and Germany, she discovered governance mechanisms that counteract policy divergence and inequality in regionalized policy. Social scientists, policymakers and participants in state reform should take into account this important book, which casts a new light on the regionalization of public policy.” (Arthur Benz, Technische Universität Darmstadt, Germany)

“Regional autonomy in education can breed policy convergence. Claire Dupuy’s book provides a theoretically sound and empirically convincing account of this paradoxical finding. Anyone interested in the effects of political decentralization will benefit from the fruitful perspective presented here.” (Klaus Detterbeck, University of Göttingen, Germany)

“Claire Dupuy’s excellent book combines meticulous fieldwork into the education sector in French and German regions with an innovative actor-based approach to key public policy questions of policy convergence and divergence. Dupuy’s central finding that policy convergence can form part of an endogenous regional strategy is powerfully stated. Her book offers an example of comparative analysis at its best.” (Alistair Cole, Chair Professor in Politics and Head of the Department of Government and International Studies, Hong Kong Baptist University, Hong Kong)