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EU project CONNEX presents databases on EU governance

At www.connex-network.org the largest socio-scientific catalogue of data on the topic „Governance in the European Union“ is publicly available online. Referenced are here approximately 1.700 research projects (GOVDATA) and more than 2.500 research publications (GOVLIT).

EU governance is currently a popular topic in the social sciences. Recent expansion of the EU, the adoption of the Euro and other issues have raised many complex questions about the functioning and purpose of multi-level governance. The Social Science Citation Index (SSCI) clearly reflects the recent explosion of activity in research on governance and the European Union. In the mid-1990s, rarely more than 10 articles a year in the area were reported. However, by the late 1990s and early 2000s there were between 40 and 50 articles per year. Throughout the last decade, there has been a large amount of high-quality research being done throughout Europe, but the richness of these resources often cannot be seen and access to the results turns out to be fairly difficult. Geographical distances, language barriers, issue boundaries and disciplinary self-sufficiency all contribute to the fragmentation of the scientific community concerned with EU governance. With such a scattered base of knowledge, developed in so many different institutions and languages, there are constant hurdles and barriers along the path of research for both scholars and practitioners. The academic community has had no centralized access point to retrieve scientific material related to EU governance. There has been a real necessity for a tool to help locate expertise on specific topics of European multi-level governance or locate sources of information on the same subject. For this reason, the CONNEX network (www.connex-network.org) coordinated by the Mannheim Centre for European Social Research (MZES) in Germany has recently developed two databases - called GOVDATA and GOVLIT (Governance Research Data and Governance Literature) to collect and store such information in this field. CONNEX is a project funded by the European Union that is dedicated to the analysis of efficient and democratic multi-level governance in Europe and aims to deepen our understanding of EU multi-level governance. It functions as a network of excellence, bringing together 42 partner institutions in 23 European countries with over 170 scholars cooperating through this programme. All you ever wanted to know on EU Governance research GOVDATA – the first database - should be understood as a significant effort to build a community of research on EU governance, as it allows scholars throughout Europe to have access to research projects that have been carried out by colleagues in other countries. Information for over 1600 separate research projects in 30 countries has been entered into the database. The system has been set up to be both powerful and simple to use. Although GOVDATA does not contain the published results as such, it contains all of the important information about each project, including leading institution, project coordinator, time period and duration of study, publications in which the results appeared, and abstracts both in English and the original language (if available). Searching the database by country, time-period, discipline, keywords and other specific criteria is easily accomplished through the user-friendly search interface. The studies contained within GOVDATA are current: only research conducted from 1994 to 2005 has been included. The database is also supplemented by “national reports” and statistics, which give a merge of background information on the context of EU governance research in the 30 countries covered by the survey. GOVLIT – the other database – is a similar database that has also been brought online recently by CONNEX. With a similar scope of nations and topics, it brings together bibliographic information about publications on EU governance from a variety of sources, including the Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), the International Bibliography of the Social Sciences (IBSS), Google Scholar, and the British Library. At the moment almost 3000 books, articles, reviews and other literature published on EU governance since 1954 are referenced in GOVLIT. It is a strong complement to GOVDATA, since both together provide a broad source of both literature and research. These services are provided freely online by the MZES. It is hoped that all researchers of EU multi-level governance will be able to benefit from each others’ work, thereby fostering the continuing growth of a diverse and active community of scientific excellence. A detailed analysis of the research activities conducted during this time period in the wider Europe on the topic of multilevel governance will be published in late 2007 by Edward Edgar Publishers under the direction of Beate Kohler-Koch and Fabrice Larat. For further information: CONNEX: www.connex-network.org GOVDATA: www.connex-network.org/govdata GOVLIT: www.connex-network.org/govlit

Countries

Austria, Belgium, Czechia, Germany, Denmark, Estonia, Greece, Spain, Finland, France, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Latvia, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Sweden, Slovenia, Slovakia, United Kingdom