Striving for Local Governance Capacity in Portugal and Spain

  • Patrícia Silva
  • Esther Pano Puey
Part of the Governance and Public Management book series (GPM)


Despite the well-known differences regarding the level of devolution in Portugal and Spain, inter-municipal associations (IMAs) emerged as a relevant piece of the institutional systems. The strategies to foster these bodies, however, have been different. While Portugal opted to promote them very clearly, on the verge of employing a top-down logic, Spanish authorities are trying to control IMAs and even reduce their number. Despite the different scenarios, both countries are striving to ensure the governance capacity of inter-municipal collaborative endeavours, struggling for the emergency of a new political actor able to function effectively. This chapter seeks to present an index of governance capacity and measure the performance of both countries across the different dimensions of the index.



Esther Pano Puey would like to acknowledge the support of the programme CSO2013-48641-C2-1-R (Ministry of Economy) Project—Local Government Reform, efficiency, rescaling and democracy (LoGoRef) and also the programme from the Catalan Government 2014 SGR 838. Patrícia Silva would like to acknowledge the support of the Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology, and the European Social Fund through the Operational Programme Human Capital (HCOP), under grant SFRH/BPD/93149/2013.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Patrícia Silva
    • 1
  • Esther Pano Puey
    • 2
    • 3
  1. 1.Research Unit on Governance, Competitiveness and Public Policies, Department of Social, Political and Territorial SciencesUniversity of AveiroAveiroPortugal
  2. 2.Constitutional Law & Political Science DepartmentUniversity of BarcelonaBarcelonaSpain
  3. 3.Coordinator of the Local Government Observatory, Fundació Carles Pi i SunyerBarcelonaSpain

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