Inequality, redistribution and decentralization in Canada and the United Kingdom

Keith Banting, Nicola McEwen*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


This chapter examines the relationships between inequality, redistribution and decentralization in Canada and the United Kingdom. Both countries have witnessed significant growth in inequality, and have experienced periods in which the redistributive role of the state contracted significantly. At the same time, both have embraced significant decentralization, including the devolution of responsibility for social programmes. Keith Banting and Nicola McEwen examine whether these trends are related. Did growing inequality and/or a political desire to reduce redistribution trigger decentralization? Or has greater decentralization weakened the redistributive capacities of the state, contributing to growing inequality? ​They find that growing economic inequality mattered to both the degree and impact of decentralization in both cases, but the relationship between economic inequality and decentralization is mediated by territorial identity and functional imperatives.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationConstitutional Politics and the Territorial Question in Canada and the United Kingdom
Subtitle of host publicationFederalism and Devolution Compared
EditorsM Keating, G Laforest
Number of pages29
ISBN (Electronic)9783319580746
ISBN (Print)9783319580739
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 17 Aug 2017

Publication series

NameComparative Territorial Politics


  • income inequality
  • federalism
  • welfare
  • policy
  • systems

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