The Covid-19 pandemic has thrown a sharp light on the challenges governments face in managing complex policy issues with an uneven impact across a country’s territory. This has brought renewed attention to the way central governments relate to regional and local governments. The question of how to balance country-wide coherence and local responsiveness has been prominent in the debate. Put another way, this is the enduring question of the optimal degree of concentration versus dispersion of powers and the different ways in which this seemingly elusive optimum can be achieved. But, how are systems of territorial governance organised and how can we compare them?