The article aims at contributing to the understanding of the dynamics of federalism in Russia and Spain. It traces the dynamics of decentralization in both states and addresses a puzzle on reversible (Russia) and irreversible (Spain) outcomes of territorial reforms and regime transition. Among other explanatory factors, this article argues that the role of the political parties as mediating actors—proactive or reactive—has been crucial in shaping institutional building in both countries. Concluding remarks envisage some scenarios of further territorial developments in comparative perspective.
The paper contributes to the studies of effects of political regimes on public policies by looking at a previously unexplored aspect of this issue: the propensity of political regimes to create vast and extensive formal regulation. To study this topic, it applies subnational comparative method and uses a dataset of subnational regions of Russia, which provides a unique opportunity for a large-N investigation of the research question because of substantial variation of regional political regimes and regulatory environments and because of availability of a proxy for comparing the use of formal regulation across regions. The paper shows that more competitive regimes are more likely to expand the formal law than less competitive ones; however, the implications of this expansion of formal law for the economy are ambiguous.