A comparative measure of decentralization for Southeast Asia

Sarah Shair-Rosenfield, Gary Marks, Liesbet Hooghe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


In this article we set out a fine-grained measure of the formal authority of intermediate subnational government for Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, South Korea, and Thailand that is designed to be a flexible tool in the hands of researchers and policymakers. It improves on prior measures by providing annual estimates across ten dimensions of regional authority; it disaggregates to the level of the individual region; and it examines individual regional tiers, asymmetric regions, and regions with special arrangements. We use the measure and its elements to summarize six decades of regional governance in Southeast Asia and conclude by noting how the Regional Authority index could further the dialogue between theory and empirics in the study of decentralization and democratization.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)85-107
Number of pages23
JournalJournal of East Asian Studies
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2014


  • Decentralization
  • Indonesia
  • Malaysia
  • Measurement
  • Multilevel governance
  • Philippines
  • Regions
  • South Korea
  • Thailand

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Development
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Political Science and International Relations


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