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Dynamics and obstacles of european governance

Objective

Content: The European integration process has engendered a new and unique form of governance, which has been conceptualised as "multi-level governance". This approach perceives the European polity as highly differentiated and integrated both "vertically and horizontally". It sees political power not as concentrated, but spread over territorial levels and decision-making arenas. These levels and arenas do not follow a hierarchical arrangement: The supranational institutions are neither superimposed upon the Member States; nor are the Member States and their regions subordinated to the supranational institutions. The complexity of the European multi-level system imposes particular strains and challenges for three main aspects of governance:
(1) Coordination i.e. the management of complexity in multi-level systems.
(2) Co-operation i.e. interaction of actors on various levels and within various arenas.
(3) Control i.e. the challenges this system poses for democratic legitimacy. These three main points will serve as a framework for the research tasks within the joint work programme.

Objectives: Although the study of European integration and the transformation of European governance has been a fertile site for theoretical development and research, solid empirical work is still rather scarce. This joint programme aims to fill this "gap" by going beyond the mere description of empirical differences between different (case-) studies. It aims to come up with theoretically sound explanations (and predictions) of the problem-solving capacity of the multi- level system. This objective is to be achieved by focusing on different factors and causal-mechanisms that lead to specific results in selected policy areas.

Funding Scheme

NET - Research network contracts

Coordinator

UNIVERSITY OF MAASTRICHT
Address
Kapoenstraat 2
6200 MD Maastricht
Netherlands

Participants (4)

TECHNICAL UNIVERSITY OF MUNICH
Germany
Address
Lothstrasse 17
80335 Muenchen
UNIVERSITAET MANNHEIM
Germany
Address
L 7, 1
68161 Mannheim
UNIVERSITY OF SOUTHERN DENMARK - UNIVERSITY OF ODENSE
Denmark
Address
Campusvej 55
5230 Odense
UNIVERSITY OF WESTMINSTER
United Kingdom
Address
Park Village East 100
NW1 3SR London