Article: article from journal or magazin.
A Dethroned King? The Limits of State Infrastructural Power in France
Since the 1980s in Western Europe, centralized states' control over subnational territories has been deeply affected by processes of Europeanization and regionalization. These changes have raised the issue of state territorial restructuring in a particular fashion: what capacity have formerly centralized states retained to steer and control subnational territories? The article draws on Mann's concept of infrastructural power, which refers to the state's capacity to exercise control and implement political decisions over the national territory. The article applies the two main operationalizations of the concept, namely the capability of the state to exercise control and the weight of the state in the subnational territories. Empirically, the article focuses on the French state in two policy sectors (education and housing). Although France is a most likely case, this article challenges this expectation, and shows the limits of the French state's infrastructural power over the subnational territories since the late 1980s.
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