From centralization to decentralization: analyzing power distribution patterns for achieving just policies and equitable resource distribution

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This master’s thesis investigates the optimal distribution of political power between multiple governmental levels to achieve just policy and a just division of resources. Drawing on the theories of John Rawls, Iris Marion Young, and Murray Bookchin, the research focuses on the complexities of power distribution within governance structures as a result of diversifying societies. The authors are put on a spectrum of decentralization to centralization linked to their preference for a certain power distribution. The research critically evaluates the authors’ theories and proposes a “regional governance alliance” as a concrete power allocation framework. Rawls’s theory of distributive justice emphasizes a fair distribution of resources with a focus on benefiting the least advantaged members of society, which is called the maximin principle. His idea of the basic structure represents his preference for one central government. Furthermore, Young highlights pluralism, diversity, and the elimination of institutionalized domination and oppression as the basis for justice. She favors multiple large regional governments as the lowest level of governance. Bookchin’s conception of justice centers on freedom, ecological sustainability, and decentralized self-governance at the municipal level. Bookchin prefers assemblies on the neighborhood level to gain the most power. Through a critical evaluation, the thesis formulates a power allocation framework based on the contributions of the three authors. The conclusion identifies the “regional governance alliance” as a just governmental power distribution. This system involves a regional parliamentary government responsible for multiple aspects.
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