This chapter contextualizes the primary research presented in later chapters by examining the institutional environments that shape policy networks in each of the three states. It looks at the origins of sub-national government and illustrates how early institutional configurations influenced subsequent development. In doing so, it identifies the critical junctures and key trends that have shaped institutional structures. Emphasis is placed upon the administrative organization and financial arrangements for sub-national government in each of the states. The chapter concludes with a summary view of the relationship between institutional environment and network potential in each of the states, highlighting the significance for the rest of the research.