Towards Sustainable Regional Institutions: The Nature, Role and Governance Implications of Contemporary Australian Regionalism

Sub-national regionalism presents an enduring dilemma for the evolution of Australian public institutions.  In response to globalisation, regionalism has returned to the fore in economic, environmental and social policy, renewing questions about how legitimate, durable regional institutions are to be fostered.  Federalism has long provided one basis, but Australia's static number of states, historical weakness in local government and uncertainties about decentralisation have combined to restrict options and render a lasting response elusive.  This project sought to extend regional governance research with a first-ever, empirically-based picture of regionalism's role in Australian political culture and meaning for regional institutional design.

Completed in 2008

Funded by: Australian Research Council

Contact: The Institute for Rural Futures