Multi-level Governance

Edited by Ian Bache and Matthew Flinders

Published in print February 2004 | ISBN: 9780199259250
Published online April 2004 | e-ISBN: 9780191600968 | DOI:
Multi-level Governance

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Seeks to develop understanding of the notion of multi‐level governance through a critical exploration of its definitions and applications by scholars with very different concerns within the broad discipline of Political Studies. Despite the different concerns of different authors, four common strands emerge that provide a parsimonious definition of multi‐level governance that raises clear hypotheses for future research. First, that decision‐making at various territorial levels is characterized by the increased participation of non‐state actors. Second, that the identification of discrete or nested territorial levels of decision‐making is becoming more difficult in the context of complex overlapping networks. Third, that in this changing context, the role of the state is being transformed as state actors develop new strategies of coordination, steering and networking that may protect and, in some cases, enhance state autonomy. Fourth, that in this changing context, the nature of democratic accountability has been challenged and need to be rethought or at least reviewed. The book concludes that future research on multi‐level governance should pay particular attention to the implications for democracy of empirical developments and, related to this, to the design of frameworks of accountability that adopt a positive‐sum gain in relation to the accountability versus efficiency debate.

Keywords: accountability; democracy; efficiency; governance; legitimacy; multi‐level governance; participation; politics; power; states

Book.  252 pages.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Comparative Politics

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