The Territorial Imperative explores an area of growing interest in comparative political economy - the interaction of politics and economics at the mesolevel of the polity. Noting the ubiquity of regional economic disparaties within advanced industrial democracies, Jeffrey Anderson undertakes a sophisticated analysis of the complex political conflicts such disparities generate. In this study of political responses to regional crisis, the principal theoretical focus centers on the impact of constitutional orders as bona fida political institutions. On the basis of a carefully constructed comparison of four declining industrial regions within a broader cross-national comparison of unitary Britain and federal Germany, Anderson concludes that constitutional orders as institutions do in fact matter. The territorial distribution of power, encapsilated in the federal-unitary distinction of interests and resources among subnational and national actors and on the strategies of cooperation and conflict available to them. In the course of the study, Anderson brings together theories of intergovernmental relations, center-periphery, corporatism, pluralism, and the state. His book provides new insights into more than just mesolevel politics; indeed, the explicit focus on the political economy of regions calls into question aspects of the conventional wisdom of British and German politics, which is based for the most part on national-level studies. Viewed in the context of widespread optimism surrounding the future of regions in a post-1992 Europe, Anderson’s findings also underscore the need for caution when assessing the horizons of action for subnational interests in advanced industrial democracies. Offering an innovative theoretical approach grounded in comparative empirical research, The Territorial Imperative will be welcomed by political economists, scholars and students of comparative politics, sociology, and public policy, political geographers, and economists and historians interested in Western Europe.