Paper “Moving to Suburbia? Effect of Mobility on Community Engagement”

This paper was produced along with Jaume Magre and Joan-Josep Vallbé.


Previous research has emphasized that residential mobility is a key factor to understand the social and institutional context that shapes local political dynamics, especially in processes of suburbanization of metropolitan regions. Recent work has already pointed out that local communities with higher rates of recent population growth show lower levels of turnout compared to others with significantly lower levels or even negative growth. However, due to both the aggregate nature of most data available and sample designs, no firm conclusions can be arrived at regarding the specific relationship between residential mobility and the individual and contextual determinants of social and

political behavior. In this paper we explore the interaction between individual and contextual features to better understand the problems that suburbanization pose to local community engagement. We use data from a survey specifically designed to comply with the requirements of the study. The sample was designed through strata that take into account the recent population growth of Catalan municipalities. Results show the relevance of accounting for both individual- and contextual-level variables to better understand the political and social dimensions of residential mobility and local suburbanization.

Magre, Jaume, Vallbé, Joan-Josep and Tomàs, Mariona, Moving to Suburbia? Effect of Mobility on Community Engagement (2013). EPSA 2013 Annual General Conference Paper 374.
You can download the full paper here: Moving to Suburbia? Effect of Mobility on Community Engagement.

Image credit: Sant Cugat del Vallès (Google Earth)

Interview at the Ara journal

Today an interview from Ara journalist Carme Riera is online regarding my book “Penser Métropolitain?…”

entrevista ara Mariona Tomàs








You can access full interview at:

New paper: Territory Political Autonomy and Metropolitan Governance: Comparing Catalonia and Quebec

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.

Access to the paper here (only available in Catalan).

Access to the full journal in epub.