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Last updated: February 19, 2021

RAI v. 3 data on regional authority

The RAI measures the authority exercised by regional governments in countries. This release expands geographical coverage from 81 to 96 countries (including China, India, Pakistan, Ukraine), extends temporal coverage from 1950 through 2018, and covers metropolitan regions alongside standard regions. Scoring is annual and the unit of analysis is the individual region. Data are available in four aggregations: RAI-MLG  provides annual scores for each region or regional tier in a country; RAI-Region provides annual scores for the most authoritative regional tier; RAI-Country provides annual scores for each country; RAI-Indigenous provides annual scores for indigenous governance. Click here for country coverage and a summary of the measure. Release: Nov 23, 2020, latest update Jan 28, 2021.

Data (zipped excel & codebook):  RAI-MLG || RAI-Region || RAI-Country || RAI-Indigenous

Codebooks: RAI-MLG || RAI-Region || RAI-Country || RAI-IndigenousRAI-Country

Data (excel)RAI-MLG || RAI-Region || RAI-Country || RAI-Indigenous

*** We are working on RAI-Metro (annual scores for metropolitan governance). We will also posting updated country profiles below. *** 

Research team : Liesbet Hooghe, Gary Marks, Sara Niedzwiecki, Sandra Chapman-Osterkatz, Arjan H. Schakel, and Sarah Shair-Rosenfield are the Principal Investigators. Weining Ai, Kyle Chan, Aleksandra Nanailova, Fanying Kong, Iana Gein, Sven Hegewald, Caroline Lancaster, Luigi Mendez, Juan Diego Pietro, Alan James Simmons, and Emily Venturi provided research assistance. We thank Brian C.H. Fong for collaboration in estimating Hong Kong.

How to cite RAI v.3?

Background on conceptualization

The coding follows the conceptual and operational frame in Hooghe et al. (2016: Chapters 1-3). Regional authority falls into self-rule and shared rule, with each domain in turn disaggregated in five dimensions.


RAI-Rokkan data on regional distinctiveness

The RAI-Rokkan dataset estimates normative, political, and geographical distinctiveness of 1766 regions in 95 countries in 2018. The unit of analysis is the territorial unit with the most authoritative general purpose subnational government. Each region is assessed on how distinctive it is from the national state’s core with respect to language and religion (difference), former statehood and early overarching governance (dependence), and travel time and geographical discontinuity (distance). Release v.1: November 23, 2020.

Data & Codebook 

Research team: Liesbet Hooghe, Gary Marks, Max Boiten, Noah Dasanaike, and Rick Scholten.

How to cite RAI-Rokkan?

Background on conceptualization

The concept of a Rokkan region was initiated in Community, Scale, and Regional Governance, in which we theorize regional authority as shaped by functional and communal pressures. Communal pressures arise from how people conceive themselves as belonging to distinctive communities, and this, we argue can be understood in terms of Stein Rokkan’s three notions of difference, dependence, and distance of a region from the state core. Functional pressures arise from scale economies and externalities in public goods provision. Community and scale explain basic features of regional governance, including the growth of multiple tiers; how jurisdictions are designed; why governance has become differentiated; and the extent to which regions exert authority. For detailed information on how we operationalize and code Rokkan regions, please read Language distinctiveness ||  Religion distinctiveness || Travel time


RAI V. 2 data*[superseded by RAI v.3]

Data for the Regional Authority Index (RAI) v. 2 are aggregated in two datasets: one with annual scores for 231 regional governments/tiers in 65 countries for 1950-2010, and one with annual scores for 81 countries for 1950-2010.

Additional Documentation

* March 2016

Citation: Hooghe, Liesbet, Gary Marks, Arjan H. Schakel, Sandi Chapman Osterkatz, Sara Niedzwiecki, Sarah Shair-Rosenfield (2016). Measuring Regional Authority: A Postfunctionalist Theory of Governance, Volume I. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Other work by team members

Sarah Shair-Rosenfield, Arjan H. Schakel, Sara Niedzwiecki, Gary Marks, Liesbet Hooghe, and Sandra Chapman-Osterkatz. 2020. Language difference and regional authority. Regional and Federal Studies (special anniversary issue),  DOI: 10.1080/13597566.2020.1831476

Liesbet Hooghe and Gary Marks. 2018. Symposium on measuring and theorizing regional governance. Territory, Governance, Politics. Contributions by Kent Eaton, JP Faguet, Imke Harbers, and a response by Arjan H. Schakel, Liesbet Hooghe, Gary Marks, Sara Niedzwiecki, Sandra Chapman-Osterkatz, and Sarah Shair-Rosenfield.

Sara Niedzwiecki, Sandra Chapman-Osterkatz, Liesbet Hooghe, Gary Marks. 2017. “The RAI travels to Latin America Measuring regional authority under regime change.” Regional and Federal Studies.

Arjan Schakel, Gary Marks, Liesbet Hooghe. 2015. Multilevel Governance and the State. In Oxford Handbook on the Transformation of the State, edited by Stephan Leibfried, Evelyne Huber, John Stephens. Oxford: OUP, 266-82.

Sarah Shair-Rosenfield, Gary Marks, Liesbet Hooghe. 2014. A Comparative Measure of Decentralization for Southeast Asia. Journal of East Asian Studies, 14 (1): 85-108. SEA replication.

Liesbet Hooghe and Gary Marks. 2013. Beyond Federalism: Estimating and Explaining the Territorial Structure of Government. Publius, 43 (2): 179-204. Online appendix..

Liesbet Hooghe, Gary Marks, Arjan H. Schakel. 2010The Rise of Regional Authority: A Comparative Study of 42 democracies (1950-2006).(London: Routledge).

Liesbet Hooghe, Gary Marks, Arjan H. Schakel. 2008. Special issue on “Measuring Regional Authority”, Regional and Federal Studies, 18, 2-3: 111-302.

Marks; Hooghe; Schakel. Measuring regional authority
Hooghe; Marks; Schakel. Operationalizing regional authority
Schakel. Validation of regional authority index
Marks; Hooghe; Schakel. Patterns of regional authority
Appendix A: Profiles of Regional Reform in 42 Countries (1950-2006)
Appendix B: Country and Regional Scores
Appendix C: A Library on Regional Authority

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