This article compares the approach to metropolitan governance in Catalonia and Quebec. In the first part of the article we analyze the three main approaches to metropolitan governance: reform school, public choice school and new regionalism. Each theoretical school proposes a model of dealing with metropolitan challenges according to a different degree of institutionalization, involving key questions as the degree of public intervention or the nature of democratic legitimacy in the metropolitan area. While in Catalonia the option of mergers has repeatedly been rejected in favor of intermunicipal cooperation, Quebec has traditionally opted for the solution of municipal reforms. The second part of the article explores the reason for this difference. Our hypothesis considers that the political role of municipalities and the model of local government are the key variables to under stand the opposite models of metropolitan governance. The analysis of institutional and political factors such as the distribution of powers, the electoral system, the party system and the political culture conforms this idea. The combination of these variables leads to a different approach to metropolitan governance in Catalonia and Quebec.
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