Decentralization is a regulatory process, the aim of which is to maintain or establish a balance between national (or provincial) and local levels of organizations. Fundamental social choices lie at the heart of the centralization/ decentralization tension. While centralization encourages national unity through uniformity, decentralization favours diversity by emphasizing local freedoms and the right of local communities to be different. Moreover, the centralization/ decentralization process is driven by three different visions of the role of the state: the liberal, the social and the communitarian. The liberal vision seeks to minimize the role of the state as much as possible and to expand individual liberties. The social vision aims to maximize the role of the state in order to establish mechanisms of collective solidarity. The community vision tends to minimize the role of the state while at the same time increasing freedom of choice for local communities.