a unitary state has imposed its will on its subnational bodies, as in the Thatcher government's treatment of local government, does not inspire confidence in centrally imposed decentralizing initiatives. The most effective decentralizing policies are usually those which have been successfully negotiated through intergovernmental relations.
In the second half of the twentieth century, one of the most important structural movements in and between most governments has been that of regionalization, which on occasion has led to the achievement of regionalism (the establishment at the regional level of general purpose and usually elective government). A region was once wittily defined as an area safely larger or smaller than the last one to whose problems no solution could be found. Regional bodies may be supranational, such as the European Community, or, within a nation state, either supra- or subprovincial. In North America, the former type of subnational regionalization has been most salient; in Australia, the latter. Regionalization has thus been closely associated with both centralizing and decentralizing processes, for they are all manifestations of structural change in governmental systems.
When it takes a regionalist form, decentralization may unleash forces that threaten the constitutional order of the nation state. If national integration remains fragile, as in many developing countries and some developed ones such as Canada, ethnicity and regionalism can prove an explosive mix.
In this entry, the government of the nation state has been treated as the primary center. Until now, the United Nations and its agencies have not been mentioned, as it would be premature to identify one overriding political center for the world, and yet it does not seem appropriate to treat the globe as just another region. However, the author of the corresponding entry in the encyclopedia of the next generation may well be able to take a global center of governance as her starting point, if current movements towards the globalization of the political economy continue.
Adamolekun, Ladipo, 1991. "Decentralization Policies: Problems and Perspectives". Asian Journal of Public Administration, vol. 13, no. 1 (June) 67-92.
Bennett, Robert J., ed., 1990. Decentralization, Local Governments, and Markets: Towards a Post-Welfare Agenda. Oxford: Clarendon Press.
Cheema, G. S. and D. A. Rondinelli, 1983. Implementing Decentralizing Programmes in Asia: Local Capacity for Rural Development. Nagoya, Japan: United Nations Centre for Regional Development.
Fesler, James W., 1949. Area and Administration. Montgomery: University of Alabama Press.
-----, 1965. "Approaches to the Study of Decentralization". Journal of Politics, vol. 27, no 4. (August) 536-566.
-----, 1968. "Centralization and Decentralization". International Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences, vol. 2:370-379.
Kochen, Manfred and Karl W. Deutsch, 1980. Decentralization: Toward a Rational Theory. Cambridge, MA: Oelgeschlager, Gunn and Hain.
Maddick, Henry, 1963. Democracy, Decentralisation and Development. Bombay: Asia Publishing House.
Rhodes, R. A. W., 1988. Beyond Westminster and Wlhitehall: The Sub-central Governments of Britain. London: Unwin Hyman.
Sharpe, L. J., ed., 1979. Decentralist Trends in Western Democracies. London: Sage Publications.
Smith, B. C., 1985. Decentralization: The Territorial Dimension of the State. London: George Allen and Unwin.
DECISION. A form of secondary legislation in the European Union. According to article 189 of the treaty establishing the European Economic Community signed in Rome in 1957, "a decision shall be binding in its entirety upon those to whom it is addressed." A decision tends to be specific to the member state or states, undertaking, or person to whom it is addressed. It takes effect upon notification of those concerned. For the most part decisions are administrative rather than legislative in nature. Examples of decisions include the Council Decision of March 6, 1995, on the conclusion of the agreement in the form of an exchange of letters amending the Cooperation Agreement between the European Economic Community and the Yemen Arab Republic; the Commission Decision of March 6, 1995, on a special financial contribution from the Community for the eradication of swine vesicular disease in Belgium; and the Commission Decision of March 6, 1995, approving the program for the eradication of infectious bovine rhinotracheitis in Austria.
Decisions are known as individual decisions under the Paris Treaty signed in 1951, which established the European Coal and Steel Community in 1952.
MARGARET MARY MALONE
Hartley, T. C., 1989. The Foundations of European Community Law. 2d ed. London: Clarendon Press.
Lasok, D. and J. W. Bridge, 1987. Law and Institutions of the European Communities. 4th ed. London: Butterworths.
Nugent, Neill, 1991. The Government and Politics of the European Community. 2d ed. London: Macmillan.
Parry, Anthony and James Dinnage, 1981. EEC Law. 2d ed. London: Sweet and Maxwell.
Wyatt, D. and A. Dashwood, 1987. The Substantive Law of the EC. 2d ed. London: Sweet and Maxwell.
DECISIONMAKING IN THE EUROPEAN UNION. A complex system of variable procedures, variable voting systems, and a variable involvement of the different institutions.
The considerable complexity and lack of transparency of the Union's decisionmaking process can be explained by two factors. First, it is the result of treaties and treaty amendments (such as the Single Act of 1986 and the Treaty