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This book integrates two disciplines- economics and political science- to map the past, present and future of the territorial allocation of authority in the decentralized big countries of Western Europe. By comparing different states, attention is drawn to the interesting similarities and differences that exist in the health and social case policies of varying countries in Europe. The result is an analysis that highlights the ubiquity of territorial politics and the necessarily territorial nature of many health and social care policies. By clarifying assumptions that economists, political scientists and practitioners have often introduced into their analyses of decentralization and the allocation of authority in health, this book brings to the fore theoretical discussions from second generation fiscal federalism and new politics of the welfare state alongside both quantitative and qualitative empirical evidence of different European countries that differ widely in institutional design and historical inertias.