Multi-level governance

Multi-level (or multilevel) governance  is an approach in political science and public administration theory that originates from studies on European integration . Political scientists Liesbet Hooghe and Gary Marks developed the concept of multi-level governance in the early 1990s and continued to contribute to the research program in a series of articles (see Bibliography).  [1]  Their theory resulted from the study of the new structures that were put in place by the EU ( Maastricht Treaty) in 1992. Multi-level governance gives expression to the idea that there are many interacting authorities in the global political economy. It „illuminates the intimate entanglement between the domestic and international levels of authority“.

Origins and significance of the concept of multi-level governance

‚Multi-level governance‘ is a recent concept, having first entered the lexicon of political science around fifteen years ago as comparativists became re-acquainted with European integration and knowledge, but also downward. to subnational authorities. The first efforts to understand this have been descriptive, spawning concepts that have generated an extensive literature. Multi-level, polycentric, and multi-layered governance emphasize the dispersion of decision making from the local to the global level. In recent years these concepts have cross-pollinated subfields of political science including European studies and decentralization , federalism and international organization, public policy (eg environmental policy , health policy ) and public-private governance, local governance and transnational governance .

The authors of a recent survey of the literature on the structure of government We have many of the recent cutting-edge political contributions to political studies and multi-level governance. Federalism ‚considered the subject of their field of well-defined, well-rooted and broadly accepted ideas, they are still open to a new flowering of federal theory as a result of fertilization by these new MLG theoretical developments‘.  [2]  However, there is nothing entirely new under the sun. Scarcely recognized at the time, this research revives a rich tradition in political science by Karl Deutsch(1966) on the effect of societal transactions on government structure, Robert Dahl (1973) on the virtues and vices of multilevel democracy, and Stein Rokkan (1983) on identity and territorial politics.

Application of the concept

Multi-level governance and the European Union

The study of the European Union has been characterized by two different theoretical phases. The first phase was dominated by studies from the field of international relations ; in the second phase These studies have been revised and insights from among others, public policy were added. The most straightforward way of understanding this theory is an international organization similar to others (eg NATO) to see it as something unique among international organizations. The uniqueness of the EU relates to both the nature and the extent of its development. This means that in some areas of activity the EU displays more than a few countries.

The theory of multi-level governance belongs to the second phase. Multi-level governance characterizes the changing relationships between actors at different territorial levels, both from the public and the private sectors. The distinction between these domains in the context of European integration . Multi-level governance was first developed from a policy of EU policy and then applied to EU decision-making . An early explanation Referred to multi-level governance as  a system of continuous negotiation Among nested at gouvernements Several third territorial  [3]  and how Described supranational, national, regional, and local governments are enmeshed in territorially overarching policy networks  .  [4]  The importance of the importance of non-state actors in the interaction of state actors and the role of non-state actors in policy making. As such, multi-level governance raised new and important questions about the role, power and authority of states.

No other international form of cooperation is characterized by such far-reaching integration as the European Union . The European Union and the way policy is developed. The European Union can be characterized by a mixture of supranational integration and supranational integration.

Multi-level governance within the EU is understood by the EU, the Member States and the regional and local authorities. In this context, it refers to the principle of subsidiarity , which places as close as possible to the citizens and ensures that the action at Union Level is justified in national, regional or local level.  [5]  In practice Multilevel Governance within the EU is about participation and coordination between all levels of government in the decision making process and the implementation or evaluation of European policies.

The combination of communal decision-making in the field of policy areas results in a deep entanglement of the member states‘ national policy levels with the European policy level. This entanglement is one of the basic principles of multi-level governance theory. The multi-level governance theory describes the European Union as a political system with interconnected institutions that exist at multiple levels and that have unique policy features. The European Union is a political system with a European ( European Commission , European Council and European Parliament), a national layer and a regional layer. These layers interact with each other in two ways: first, across different levels of government (vertical dimension) and second, with other relevant actors within the same level (horizontal dimension).

Concerning the changes of the institutional design of the European Union, the current model of governance in the United States of America exercise of powers by institutions so as to avoid an arbitrary use of them. This principle is an extreme effect of the European level, which does not prevent the use of political discretion and the political decision-making process. As Laruffa concludes: „It is quite clear that such a model of governance, which is made only by rules of any kind for a democratic policy-making process, imposes a de facto limit on the political rights of the European citizens. [6]

The European Union: Multilevel Governance in Practice

Within the European Union nearly 95,000 local and regional authorities currently have significant environmental, economic development, town and country planning, transport, public services and social policies. These local and regional authorities nearly 70% of EU legislation. They help ensure the exercise of European democracy and citizenship. Special rights and competences for regions, cities and communities  [7] By thinking beyond traditional EU – Member States relations EU multi-level governance concept further strengthens regional and transnational cooperation. This concept also includes the participation of non-state actors in the decision making process of all levels of governance (thus taking up the vertical and horizontal dimensions of multilevel governance).

The Treaty of Lisbon as an important step towards Multilevel Governance

The Treaty of Lisbon represents an important step towards the European Union’s functioning of multi-level governance. It strengthens the competences and influence of local and regional authorities in the Community decision-making process giving roles to national (and regional) parliaments and the Committee of the Regions and enshrines the territorial dimension of the European Union, especially territorial cohesion as part of the process of European integration. The Committee of the Regions has established a system for monitoring compliance with the EU policy and law making process.  [8]

Multilevel governance within the EU as an ongoing process

Nevertheless, multi-level governance within the EU is a dynamic and ongoing process. The decision-making process is one of a number of European and international decision-making processes.  [9]  This document, together with the follow-up opinion „Building a European culture of Multilevel Governance“  [10]  affirmed the Committee’s political commitment to Multi-level Governance, proposing a first political project for Building Europe in partnership. As a follow up to the 2009 White Paper on Multi-level Governance, the Committee developed a „Scoreboard on Multi-level Governance“ to monitor the European Union level. [11]

The Charter for Multi-level Governance in Europe

On the other hand, the Committee of the Regions has adopted a Charter for Multi-level Governance.  [12]  The Charter is open for signature to:

• all European Union local and regional authorities;

• European and national associations of local and regional authorities, providing the Charter their formal support;

National and European political figures are also invited to declare their support  [13]

Multi-level governance beyond the European Union

The point of departure for multi-level governance in Europe, Latin America, Asia, and North America. Decentralization has been reported in Latin America as in Europe over the past two decades, and several Asian countries have decentralized in the past decade.  [14]  Dispersion of authority in the EU is most obvious in the EU, but it is not sui generis. A recent survey counts 32 regional IGOs ​​pooling authority over all areas of the world.  [15]  The number of governmental and non-governmental international organizationshas increased markedly over the past two decades, has their scope, range and intrusiveness.  [16]  Crossborder interdependence – from migration to climate change – terrorism.  [17]

Vertical and horizontal dimension of multi-level governance

The „vertical“ dimension refers to the linkages between higher and lower levels of government, including their institutional, financial, and informational aspects. Here, local capacity building and incentives for effectiveness of national levels of government are crucial for improving quality and coherence of public policy.

The „horizontal“ dimension refers to co-operation arrangements between regions or between municipalities. These agreements are more common as a result of which to improve the effectiveness of local delivery strategies.

Consequences and practical relevance of multi-level governance

There has been an intensification of research on the consequences of multi-level governance. The concept was developed as a tool for pure research, but it now motivates policy makers. From the late 1990s to the European Commission, the role of multilevel governance, especially in cohesion policy.  [18]  In 2001, the Commission set up a committee on multilevel governance to contribute to its White Paper on Governance. José Manuel Barroso, President of the European Commission, claims that ‚the multilevel system of governance is one of the key features of the European Union’s competitive edge,‘ multilevel governance must be a priority ‚.  [19] In an October 2008 resolution, the European Parliament called on the member states‘ to develop as quickly as possible the practical measures set out in the First Action Program. . . with a view to strengthening multilevel governance ‚.  [20]  In 2009, 344 representatives of the region and local authorities in the EU approved a resolution on the European Union Charter for Multilevel Governance, which would bring localities and regions to European democratic decision making.  [21]

The European Peoples Party, representing the European Parliament, in the European Parliament, which has already stated that the EU should be one of the guiding principles of the EU, an integral part of any European strategy. Where and when are local and regional authorities widely held and subject to the rule of law?  [22]

International organizations have also taken positions on the issue. In 2009, the United Nations Development Program released a report, Delivering Human Security through Multilevel Governance, which argued that the two-level approach to international relations. . . It is a multi-tier system of governance that also involves local, supranational but not global level. The World Bank has commissioned a series of studies examining multilevel governance; The United Nations has a research and training institute on comparative regional integration that studies ‚multilevel regulatory processes and the relations between sub-and supra-national regional governance‘,  [23]  and the OECD has created a directorate on multilevel governance.

However, the consequences of multilevel governance are debated. In the eyes of its detractors, multilevel governance exacerbates corruption (Treisman 2000), leads to gridlock (Scharpf 2007), engenders moral hazard (Rodden 2006), constrains redistribution (Obinger, Castles, Leibfried 2005), obfuscates accountability (Peters & Pierre 2004 ), and wastes money (Berry 2009). The study of multi-level governance is a multi-level study of the international dimension of multi-level governance.  [24]  [25]

Multi-level governance of climate change in cities

Global climate change is growing and increasing levels of greenhouse gas emissions in local, regional, national and international levels.  [26]  Cities are suggested to contribute up to 75% of global carbon dioxide emissions, reflecting the growing proportions of global populations living and working in cities.  [27] As we know, the task of tackling climate change is an extensive, time-consuming and costly task, a task that can not be done solely through the policy implementation and regulation of central governments and bodies alone. It will become clear that nation-states will be unable to commit to and meet international targets and agreements for offsetting climate change with involvement of the sub-national and local action.  [28]  Hereby, warranting the extreme importance of multi-level governance of climate change within cities.

Forms of governance at multi-levels have been taken out of the local scale, building upon the notion of ‚global think, local act‘, in cities in particular. Greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions stem from certain activities that are specific to the environment.  [29]  Cities are exemplary of such specific places in which local government action can and GHG emissions. The levels of governance in the field of national and international arena,  [30] with some local governments on their own initiatives for tackling urban climate change. This sets a major stance to which the global scale of multi-level governance is important for tackling global climate change within the urban arena.

Four distinct modes of governance exist within the dynamics of climate change in cities. Each stems from the local level with the ability to be implemented on a multi-scale to mitigate and adapt to urban climate change. Self-governing is the capacity of local governments to govern its own activities  [31]  such as improving energy efficiency within a designated city, without the burdening of pressure to meet targets of increased energy efficiency by national governments. A model of self-governing within multi-level systems is a multi-level collaboration of governments, where  [32] imperative to the success of the climate change policy. Governing through enabling is the co-ordination and facilitation of partnerships with private organizations by the local government.  [33]  National governments also implement this mode of governance to implement policy and action within cities. Governing through provision, a form of vertical collaboration along with governance through enabling, and the use of multiple levels of governance. Climate change in cities and regions, with additional support for regional and national authorities.  [34] Lastly, another form of vertical collaboration, is governing through regulation. Such regulation characterizes traditional forms of authoritative governance, exemplifying local to nation-state relations,  [35] and  almost the whole of the multi-level governance scale.

Subnational Integration of Climate Actions

Within the various initiatives of the Low Emission Development Strategies Global Partnership ( LEDS GP ), the thematic working group on Subnational Integration ( SNI-WG ) was created in 2013 to support learning and facilitate collaboration between national and subnational governments for accelerated effective climate actions. The SNI-WG is a multi-stakeholder and international leader in the field of global networking, hosting peer-to-peer learning, publishing reports and case studies REAL) support upon request. This process has generated observations, feedback and insights on the potential of the vertical integration and coordination of subnational climate actions to accelerate and scale-up both local and global emission reductions. Improving coordination and integration between the different levels of authority and the ability to govern climate change. City and subnational governments require support from the national government, and vice versa, in order to design and implement intersectoral policies and actions for domestic decarbonization pathways.  [36]

Multilevel governance theory and empirical evidence that the coordination and vertical integration of climate actions can:  [37]

  • Help alleviate domestic political constraints.
  • Raise national government ambitions for more aggressive Intended Nationally Determined Contributions ( INDCs ) and GHG mitigation commitments.
  • Scale up, additional and new mitigation opportunities at the subnational level.
  • Accelerate the effective implementation of national targets, strategies and development priorities by „localizing“ them. This can also provide opportunities for „bundled approaches“ and increasing „co-benefits“ by linking local priorities with various development objectives. MRV.
  • Create a more bankable „low-risk“ environment for infrastructure finance and private sector investments.
  • Enable safe learning and strengthening domestic institutions.
  • Address recognized challenges and limits to sub-national non-state actor (NSA) climate actions.
  • Expand and accelerate the flow of international public and private climate finance to cities, urban infrastructure and local priorities.
  • Help address some of the persistent collective action challenges to multilateral climate agreements.

Cities for Climate Protection program

The Cities for Climate Protection (CCP) program is one example of a multi-level governance of climate change. Roles and responsibilities are shared between different levels of governance, from state actors to non-state actors (Betsill & Bulkeley, 2006). Membership Consists of wide 40 cities worldwide ( Large Cities Climate Leadership Group ), with local gouvernements Often working in close connection with national gouvernements. However, the CCP can overlook the activity of national-states giving rise to the possibility of a change in the position of policies and regulations for climate change.  [38]  Thus illustrating the situation in local, regional, national and international levels, it does not always follow a hierarchical order.

Criticism on multi-level governance theory

Many of the problems associated with multi-level governance revolve around the notion of levels. The very idea of ​​levels and levels of analysis is imbued with hierarchical implications. However, different levels or social spaces often interact with each other in complex ways that are not strictly hierarchical. To what extent can ‚levels‘ be identified at all? The notion that international bodies is a discrete level of authority and governance is questionable. International regulatory networks may not be separate sources of authority but rather represent the reconstitution of state authority and the pursuit of state-level governance. While territorial levels make sense when they are referring to public forms of authority, they seem less compatible with private and market forms of authority.

Another criticism on the theory of multi-level governance is that it is not really a proper theory, rather than it is an approach. The main difference between multi-level governance and other theories of integration is that it gets rid of the continuum or gray area between intergovernmentalism and supranationalism and leaves in its place a descriptive structure. This theory does not address the sovereigntyof states directly, but instead simply says that a multi-level structure is being created by subnational and supranational actors. One of the main questions of integration theory, namely, the transfer of loyalty and sovereignty between national and supranational entities and the future of this relationship in the EU.

The identification of partial political measures and general macroeconomics is divided on various decisional levels. National governments maintain an important decisional role but the control unlocalizes at supranational level. National sovereignty is dilated in this decisional process and the supranational institutions have an autonomous role.

See also

  • Environmental governance


  1. Jump up^   Piattoni, Simona (2009). „Multi-level Governance: a Historical and Conceptual Analysis“.  European Integration  . 31.  2  : 163-180.
  2. Jump up^   Stein, Michael; Lisa Turkewitsch (2008). „The Concept of Multilevel Governance in Studies of Federalism“.  paper presented at the International Political Science Association  .
  3. Jump up^  G. Marks, ‚Structural Policy and Multi-level Governance in the EC‘ in: A. Cafruny and G. Rosenthal (ed.) The State of the European Community: The Maastricht Debate and Beyond (Boulder 1993) pp. 391-411
  4. Jump up^  I.Bache, Europeanization and Britain: Towards Multi-level governance?  Paper prepared for the EUSA 9th Biennial Conference in Austin, Texas, 31-2 March 2005
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  6. Jump up^  Laruffa Matteo, The European Economic Governance: Problems and Proposals for Institutional Innovations, Winning Paper for the Annual Meeting Progressive Economy, Brussels, 6 March 2014.
  7. Jump up^   Van den Brande and Delebarre. „Committee of the Regions“ White Paper on Multilevel Governance “ (PDF) . Committee of the Regions.
  8. Jump up^  „Committee of the Regions: Subsidiarity Monitoring Network“ .  . Committee of the Regions . Retrieved 19 August 2014.
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  10. Jump up^   Van den Brande, Luc. „Building a European Culture of Multilevel Governance: Follow-up to the Committee of the Regions‘ White Paper“ .  . Committee of the Regions.
  11. Jump up^   Committee of the Regions. „The Multilevel Governance Scoreboard“ .  . Committee of the Regions.
  12. Jump up^   Committee of the Regions. „Charter for Multilevel Governance in Europe“ .  www.cor.europa, eu  . Committee of the Regions.
  13. Jump up^   New, Europe (3 April 2014). „CoR: Charter for Multi-level Governance in Europe“ . New Europe . Retrieved 3 April 2014 .
  14. Jump up^  Bertrand & Laliberte 2010; Bird & Vaillancourt 2008; Eaton 2008; Falleti 2010; Smoke et al. 2006
  15. Jump up^  Goertz & Powers 2011
  16. Jump up^  Acharya & Johnston 2007; Farrell et al. 2005; Hurrell 1993; Volgy et al. 2008
  17. Jump up^  Brondizio, Ostrom, Young 2009; Hurrell 2007
  18. Jump up^  Leonardi (2005: 7)
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  22. Jump up^ on 13 November 2011).
  23. Jump up^ on 13 November 2011).
  24. Jump up^  For a large-scale research project on multi-level governance see Amongst others, the project codes regional authority in 74 countries between 1950 and 2010 international authorityorganizationsfrom 1950 to 2010.
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  28. Jump up^   Betsill, Michele; Harriet Bulkeley (2006). „Cities and the Multi-level Governance of Global Climate Change“.  Global Governance  .  12  : 141-159.
  29. Jump up^   Betsill, Michele; Harriet Bulkeley (2006). „Cities and the Multi-level Governance of Global Climate Change“.  Global Governance  .  12  : 141-159.
  30. Jump up^   Betsill, Michele; Harriet Bulkeley (2006). „Cities and the Multi-level Governance of Global Climate Change“.  Global Governance  .  12  : 141-159.
  31. Jump up^   Kern, Kristine; Gotelind Alber (2008). „Governing Climate Change in Cities: Climate Governance in Multi-level Systems“.  Conference on Competitive Cities and Climate Change  .
  32. Jump up^   Kern, Kristine; Gotelind Alber (2008). „Governing Climate Change in Cities: Climate Governance in Multi-level Systems“.  Conference on Competitive Cities and Climate Change  .
  33. Jump up^   Kern, Kristine; Gotelind Alber (2008). „Governing Climate Change in Cities: Climate Governance in Multi-level Systems“.  Conference on Competitive Cities and Climate Change  .
  34. Jump up^   Kern, Kristine; Gotelind Alber (2008). „Governing Climate Change in Cities: Climate Governance in Multi-level Systems“.  Conference on Competitive Cities and Climate Change  .
  35. Jump up^   Kern, Kristine; Gotelind Alber (2008). „Governing Climate Change in Cities: Climate Governance in Multi-level Systems“.  Conference on Competitive Cities and Climate Change  .
  36. Jump up^  „Forging low emission development paths in Latin America: Multilevel dynamics in the world’s most urbanized region“ . Low Emission Development Strategies Global Partnership (LEDS GP) . Retrieved 10 July2017 .
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  38. Jump up^   Betsill, Michele; Harriet Bulkeley (2006). „Cities and the Multi-level Governance of Global Climate Change“.  Global Governance  .  12  : 141-159.