The Theory of Multi-Level Governance: Conceptual, Empirical, and Normative Challenges

The Theory of Multi-Level Governance: Conceptual, Empirical, and Normative Challenges
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Hooghe and Marks ; Keating and Hooghe , the essence of the MLG reflection necessarily pointed in the direction of a confusion con-fusion of established processes and hierar- chies and the emergence of new configurations of powers and competencies. The new processes were, therefore, not just multi-level, but also multi-actor — meaning that different types of actors linked different governmental levels and populated the policy networks thus formed.

However, by challenging the gate-keeping capacity of the state, Marks, Hooghe and Blank were implicitly also calling atten- tion to the changing nature of the state in Europe, hence inviting a reflection on the polity dimension. Admittedly, a multitude of actors populated the EU decision- making scene, but they argued that national governments still called the shots both in Brussels and at home. They thus concluded that, although many actors were indeed involved in policy-making, only some of them truly shaped the policy. However damaging their critique — something to be assessed on the basis of empirical research — the suggested reduction of MLG to neo-functionalism must be rejected as it fails to capture the innova- tive attention devoted by MLG to the capacity of real-life institutional and non-institutional actors to travel across levels that still formally remain in place, thus linking otherwise disconnected governmental levels but also challenging formally existing hierarchies.

Downloaded by [The University of Manchester Library] at 22 October Despite the efforts of the Commission to impose uniformity on partnership arrangements throughout the EU, the newly created relations between public and private actors located at different governmental levels understandably took different forms in different national contexts. This inevitably induced some authors Bomberg and Peterson ; Conzelmann ; Peterson to argue that what was common to all these different arrangements was their network configuration. Unless the concept of network is employed to chart with precision which nodes are linked in what ways and to measure the density, intensity and strength of these ties see, e.

Marcussen and Torfing , then its usefulness is merely metaphorical, telling us no more than that the relations among institutional and non-institutional actors defy formal institutional patterns. In many ways, networks appear to be the fixtures of current governmental structures as much as groups appeared to be the essence of government to interest-group liberals in the s and s for a classical formulation, see Truman In either case, both concepts are so broadly defined as to be overstretched beyond usefulness Sartori Once asserted, MLG theory began to be applied to the exploration of the arrangements for the production of EU policies and, more generally, to the overall functioning of the EU.

Having momentarily shelved the existential question of what forces were driving European integration and what kind of political construct it would eventually become, scholars began to direct their attention to the ways in which the EU actually functioned and produced authoritative decisions. Scholars were also reacting to objective developments in the EU. The perfection of the Single Market and the creation of the Economic and Monetary Union signalled the completion of economic integration. The Union was by now a powerful machine producing regulation, disbursing funds, promoting competition.

Thrown out of the window, ontological issues re-entered through the back door. How were these authoritative decisions made? Who actually participated in the decision-making process? How effective, respon- sive, accountable, democratic was this sui generis polity? MLG as Polity Restructuring Downloaded by [The University of Manchester Library] at 22 October As the theorists of MLG themselves acknowledged, proper theorization on how the new type of mobilization and policy-making was redefining the state — that is, the institutional structures of centre—periphery, state—society and domestic—foreign relations — was, at the time of their writing, still out of sight.

However, MLG theorists have not framed clear expectations about the dynamics of this polity. If, as these theorists claim, competencies have slipped away from central states both up to the supranational level and down to the subnational level, then, ceteris paribus, one would expect greater interaction among actors at these levels. But the details remain murky and, apart from a generalized presumption of increasing mobili- zation across levels, they provide no systematic set of expectations about which actors should mobilize and why Marks et al.

The third strand in MLG studies, then, increasingly concentrated on precisely the process of constructing a multi-level polity and on its expected features. In many ways, this marked a return to the original ontological agenda of inte- gration studies, somehow closing the analytical circle. Scholars were by now wondering whether MLG indicated processes that, incrementally through the slow accumulation of policy decisions and political mobilization, were trans- forming the political structure of the European Union, the structures of the individual European member states and, perhaps through similar dynamics elsewhere, those of the state tout court cf.

Kohler-Koch a. This line of enquiry has its roots in the attempts of scholars who, while studying changes in the public administration and in the territorial articulation of national states, sought to explain structural developments. To make just two notable examples, on the one hand, R.

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Rhodes , , analysed the disaggregation of British governmental and territorial structure while, on the other, Fritz Scharpf , , , , investigated the aggregation and coordination of diverse policy preferences in Europe. In both cases, though taking concrete territorial entities as their point of departure, MLG was elaborated as a quintessentially theoretical problem. Connecting with similar reflections made by economists Frey and Eichenberger , in numerous contributions Marks and Hooghe elabo- rated Type I and Type II MLG in an attempt to define the theoretical space within which the empirical instances of inter-governmental relations, that were emerging for example in cohesion policy, could be inscribed cf.

Bache Type I and Type II represent polar ideal types, yet they do not directly help us settle the epistemological ques- tion as ideal-types are not observable in reality. Type I resembles more conventional federal systems, which establish a stable division of labour between a limited number of levels of government with general jurisdiction over a given territory or a given set of issues and mutually exclusive membership.

Type II MLG has a different, interstitial origin: Type II governance tends to flourish specifically when there is a need for a tailored governmental body to address an issue that is not susceptible to policy action by a Type I organization, for example, in the international arena and when there are particular functional governance problems.

The empirical data … show that Type II governance occurs extensively in settings where the high boundary integrity of Type I governmental systems produces a competency constraint, in other words where main- stream governmental organizations are unable to respond flexibly to policy issues that intersect their jurisdictions Skelcher , Typically, in contemporary societies, Type II jurisdic- tions get superimposed in a disorderly fashion on to one another and to Type I jurisdictions.

We often observe overlaps between the one and the other jurisdictional type among which, in case of conflict, it may be difficult to adjudicate. Challenges to jurisdictional integ- rity hence confusion and overlap may come from above or below, when super- or sub-ordinate jurisdictions step forward to manage more effectively given policy issues thus fanning integrative or devolutionary processes , or Downloaded by [The University of Manchester Library] at 22 October from the side, when same-level jurisdictions trespass jurisdictional bound- aries thus triggering aggregative processes.

Type I governance, in practice, is nothing less than the conven- tional nation-state: Type I bodies are constructed, discursively in terms of their formal authority, as the government for that community of citizens. The body is embedded in a political process that makes it the focus of the expression and allocation of community values. There is an infrastruc- ture of democratic rule by elected representatives that provides symbolic and substantive means for securing legitimacy, consensus and accountability.

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The Theory of Multi-level Governance: Conceptual, Empirical, and Normative Challenges. Simona Piattoni. Abstract. This book explores the theoretical issues, . The Theory of Multi-Level Governance: Conceptual, Empirical, and Normative Challenges [Simona Piattoni] on *FREE* shipping on qualifying.

So, while the conceptual dichotomy between Type I and Type II governance is clear, it is less simple to devise concrete modes of boundary regulation processes and less easy to build institutions for their regulation and adjudi- cation structures for the latter than for the former. From the realization of the inability of national states to prevent wars and reap profits supposedly comes their resolution to equip themselves with supranational structures of government read: the EU.

And yet, as many scholars acknowledge, the apparent inefficiency of a given level of government does not immediately entail its willingness to divest itself of its powers in favour of another level of government. The new order presup- poses the weakening and the overcoming of the old order, and yet govern- Downloaded by [The University of Manchester Library] at 22 October mental institutions live well past the reasons for their coming into being also because they manage to mobilize a wealth of expectations, myths and loyal- ties that, by shaping individual behaviour, tend to grant them staying power cf.

Jachtenfuchs Conceptual Analysis Let us recall the main points made in the course of the historical recon- struction of the MLG field of studies leading up to a conceptual analysis of the term. The term multi-level governance denotes a diverse set of arrange- ments, a panoply of systems of coordination and negotiation, among formally independent but functionally interdependent entities that stand in complex relations to one another and that, through coordination and negotiation, keep redefining the interrelations Sabel and Zeitlin The levels connected by MLG must be understood primarily as territorial levels supranational, national, sub-national , each commanding a certain degree of authority over the corresponding territory and the individuals residing in it, but also more generally as jurisdictional levels, identified with regard to specific functions and to the constituents who are interested in the performance of those functions cf.

Conzelmann The chal- lenges that these levels face are of an objective nature asserting jurisdic- tional integrity over the selected territory or function and of a subjective nature securing relational integrity in terms of legitimacy, consensus and accountability , hence the need to study both their empirical and normative implications. MLG thus raises theoretical, empirical and normative questions that require commensurate answers in terms of clarifying the concept, testing empirical propositions derived from it, and assessing the legitimacy of the structures and decisions described by it.

MLG is at the same time a theory of political mobilization, of policy-making and of polity structuring, hence any theoriza- tion about MLG may be couched alternatively or simultaneously in politics, policy or polity terms. Challenges to the sovereign state are consequently of three types. Along the first dimension, the unitary state may be forced to devolve powers to sub- national units to the point of acquiring federal or confederal configurations centre vs periphery.

Bukowski, Piattoni, and Smyrl Along the second dimension, the state may be induced to join increasingly structured arrangements of inter- national coordination and regulation and cease to be sovereign as theorized by realism and intergovernmentalism anarchy vs regime. International regimes subject sovereign states to their disciplining rule, thus limiting and constraining their autonomy. International relations thus increasingly shed their character of pure anarchy and acquire the traits of regulated regimes Kratochwil ; Rosenau and Czempiel Along the third dimension, the state is induced to cede increasing shares of public power to various expressions of civil society, thus blurring the distinction between the public and the private state vs society.

Increasingly public interest groups are involved in authoritative decision-making, policy implementation, monitor- ing and evaluation Ruzza These three dimensions are often intercon- nected, signalling the existence of interdependencies between developments occurring in each of these spheres. The literature on regionalism has particularly emphasized the intercon- nections between devolutionary and federalizing processes, on the one hand, and the process of regional integration, on the other.

The varied literature on regional mobiliza- tion belongs, in other words, to this line of reflection. Works exploring various governance arrangements that increasingly feature NGOs — civil society organizations, policy advocacy coalitions and other expressions of organized civil society in authoritative decision-making — and that study their interrelation with the devolutionary processes at work within individual national states clearly connect concerns about the blurring of the boundary between state and society with domestic devolutionary processes.

The problematique best explored along this plane is one that postulates necessary or causal correlations between growing devolution and growing civil society involvement in governance arrangements Downloaded by [The University of Manchester Library] at 22 October Bukowski, Piattoni, and Smyrl , suggesting that sub-national govern- ments may claim for greater powers only by demonstrating that they are the authentic expressions of distinct sub-national societies and that greater devolved powers induce the involvement of sub-national societies in the decision-making processes concerning the territory Jeffery The White Paper on European Governance CEC stated with force this reading of the complementarity between regional and local authorities, on the one hand, and civil society organizations, on the other, in the formulation, imple- mentation, monitoring and evaluation of Community policies.

Whether the correlation is seen as a desirable empirical development or as a causally necessary phenomenon would be worth exploring. A vast literature charts the mobilization of new global actors, such as international social movements and advocacy coalitions, by setting them in correlation with the process of globalization and regional integration.

The EU and the other international organizations provide novel structures of political opportunity for the mobilization of groups once confined within national or local borders Marks and McAdam ; Imig and Tarrow ; Tarrow ; Della Porta and Diani Without explicitly chal- lenging the hierarchy of territorial jurisdictions, these groups, nevertheless, cross the boundary between the domestic and the international without waiting at the gates or asking for permission from national authorities.

By representing values and principles diffused in international society, which cannot be effectively channelled by other political formations such as political parties or by the national states themselves, these movements claim to represent public interests and perform public functions Ruzza ; Balme and Chabanet We must not forget, in addition, that precisely these types of interactions were at the core of transactionalist and neo-functionalist theories of European integration Rosamond , which predicated the process of European integration on the spontaneous mobilization of social groups across national borders and the activation of functional and political spill-overs.

Finally, the simultaneous activation of all three developments — centre— periphery, domestic—foreign and state—society dynamics — is at the core of multi-level governance theorization. By connecting territo- rial levels above and beyond their traditional hierarchical or nested relations, it was argued, the Community pushed for a transformation of centre—periphery relations and for a redefinition of the boundaries of terri- tories and jurisdictions within member states.

The subsequent theorization of Type I and Type II MLG, then, pointed to the possibility that the Union might not just upset traditional territorial hierarchies, but also foster the creation of mixed territorial and functional MLG arrangements, thus connecting centre—periphery processes with state—society dynamics. Because they involve not only territorial jurisdictions and their lawful authorities but also the corresponding expressions of civil societies, MLG arrangements Downloaded by [The University of Manchester Library] at 22 October also challenge the boundaries between the public and the private spheres of authority and between state and civil society.

Moreover, since the EU gives regional and local authorities and societies ample opportunities for involve- ment across national borders, the boundary between the domestic and the international spheres is also trespassed. The analytical space of MLG is rightfully described by the activation of all three dynamics. This latter hypothesis is indeed plausible and the trend may even be validated and reinforced by the existence of Type II governance formations, such as international associations of regional and local authori- ties that lobby for Type I governance institutions as if they were private interests.

Indeed, it could even be hypothesized that any movement towards the subordination of formerly autonomous Type I governance bodies the European member states to a super-ordinate body the European Union necessarily implies the demotion of their subordinate Type I articulations the regions and localities to Type II governance formations. It would be further interesting to speculate whether this transformation can be accom- modated within existing notions of legitimate rule or it rather imposes a fairly radical revision of the existing criteria.

Trying to confine the analysis of MLG to only one of them would deprive this concept of its main source of interest and fertility. The step from the description of policy- making processes and patterns of political mobilization to the theorization of how individual member states and the EU polity are being restructured is the most difficult one.

It means engaging portentous issues the structuring of the political space and mammoth literatures on state formation, different state forms, different models of democracy, etc. This is the kind of exercise in which, however, we should be engaged: move MLG from being a mere descriptor to becoming a fully fledged theo- retical concept subjectable to at least partial empirical falsification. To this end, we should aim at testing empirically the capacity of MLG to capture Downloaded by [The University of Manchester Library] at 22 October real-life developments and to describe existing structures of governance as we should engage head-on in the debate on the legitimacy of MLG arrange- ments.

This exercise will probably lead us to discuss whether MLG has the same empirical meaning and normative implications in continental- European member states as in Anglo-Saxon or Nordic member states for a cautionary note on the plausibility of this operation, see Lord and whether it captures equally well governance structures that involve different types of sub-national authorities as well as different types of NGOs the exact meaning of level. We should, ultimately, not forgo the possibility that MLG may also serve rhetorical functions: the construction of the EU as an MLG system may create an area of discursive consensus which may keep the process of European integration going while leaving its exact shape and competences unspecified Piattoni Notes 1.

Sartori , 28 distinguishes between two semantic activities: 1 addressing the term-to-meaning relationship and achieving one-to-one correspondence between term and meaning so as to dispel any ambiguity conceptual clarification and 2 addressing the meaning-to-referent relationship so as to specify the empirical boundaries of the concept conceptual precision.

Jurisdictional integrity consists of two elements, jurisdiction and integrity. The term is used in two distinct ways. Boundary or external integrity is a measure of the autonomy of the spatial and policy domain. Complete bound- ary autonomy would mean that the jurisdiction was not subject to intrusion by other agencies of government, whether of higher or equivalent spatial scales and therefore that its authority can be exercised autonomously. Relational or internal integrity is a measure of the democratic relationship between the governmental body and the citizenry it serves.

Intrinsic elements of relational integrity are legitimacy, consent and accountability Skelcher , 92—3. A fuller exploration of the empirical and normative challenges raised by MLG is carried out in Piattoni forthcoming. References Andersen, S. Eliassen, eds. The European Union: How democratic is it?. London: Sage. Journal of Public Policy 10, no. Bache, I. The politics of European regional policy. Multi-level governance or flexible gatekeeping?. Sheffield: Sheffield Univ.

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Journal of European Public Policy 6, no. Aldershot, UK: Ashgate. Particularly when characterized by distinct cultural traits—language, ethnicity, religion, history—regional societies may be considered as more viable communities than the larger political units which, at some point in time, presumed to encompass them Bukowski et al. Public Administration 66, no. In The state of the European Union, vol. Conzelmann

The extended gate-keeper: central government and the implementation of EC regional policy in the UK. Journal of European Public Policy 6, no. Europeanization and multi-level governance. Cohesion policy in the European Union and Britain. Flinders, eds. Multi-level governance. Oxford: Oxford Univ. Balme, R.

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Chabanet, eds. European governance and democracy, power and protest in the EU. Banchoff, T. Smith, eds. Legitimacy and the European Union. The contested polity. London: Routledge. Bartolini, S. Restructuring Europe. Center formation, system building and political structuring between the nation-state and the European Union. New York: Oxford Univ. Beetham, D. Legitimacy and the EU. New York: Longman. Bomberg, E. European Union decision making: the role of sub-national authori- ties. Political Studies — An exploration of the concept and its usefulness in studying European governance.

Pace-setting, foot-dragging and fence-sitting: member states responses to Europeaniza- tion. Journal of Common Market Studies 40, no. Environmental leaders and laggards in Europe. Aldershot, UK: Ashgate. Bourne, A. The impact of European integration on regional power. Journal of Common Market Studies 41, no.

Bozzini, E. Multi-level governance and interest representation in the common agricultural policy. Bukowski, J. Piattoni, and M. Smyrl, eds. Between Europeanization and local societies. The space for territorial governance. Caporaso, J. The European Union and forms of state: Westphalian, regulatory or post- modern?. Journal of Common Market Studies 34, no.

European governance: a white paper. Brussels, COM final 8, n. Christiansen, T. Publius: The Journal of Federalism 26, no.

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Wiener, eds. The social construction of Europe. Piattoni, eds. Informal governance in the European Union. Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar. Citi, M. New modes of governance in the EU: common objectives versus national preferences. Cohen, J. Directly deliberative polyarchy. European Law Journal 3, no. Conzelmann, T. Networking and the politics of EU regional policy. Regional and Federal Studies 5, no. A new mode of governing?

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Multi-level governance between cooperation and conflict. In Conzelmann and Smith , 11— Multi-level governance in the European Union: taking stock and looking ahead. Baden-Baden: Nomos Verlag. Social movements. An introduction. Oxford: Blackwell Publishers. Dorf, M. A constitution of democratic experimentalism. Columbia Law Review 48, no. Fabbrini, S. Compound democracies. Why the United States and Europe are becoming similar. Fairbrass, J. Multi-level governance and environmental policy. In Bache and Flinders , — Frey, B. The new democratic federalism for Europe.

Functional, overlap- ping and competing jurisdictions. Gerstenberg, O. Directly deliberative polyarchy: an institutional ideal for Europe?. Joerges and R. Dehousse, — Sub-national mobilization in the European Union. West European Politics 18, no. Hooghe, L. Cohesion policy and European integration. Building multi-level governance. Oxford: Clarendon Press. Multi-level governance and European integration. Types of multi-level governance. Imig, D. Tarrow, eds. Contentious Europeans.

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Jeffery, C. Sub-national authorities and European integration. Moving beyond the nation-state. Birmingham: Univ. Birmingham Press. The regional dimension of the European Union. Towards a third level in Europe?. London: Frank Cass originally published as The politics of the third level special issue. Regional and Federal Studies 6, no. Sub-national mobilization and European integration: does it make any difference?. Journal of Common Market Studies 38, no. A regional rescue of the nation-state: changing regional perspectives on Europe.

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Multi-level Governance - Miklós Rosta

Jordan, A. Political scientists Liesbet Hooghe and Gary Marks developed the concept of multi-level governance in the early s and have continuously been contributing to the research program in a series of articles see Bibliography. Multi-level governance gives expression to the idea that there are many interacting authority structures at work in the emergent global political economy. It "illuminates the intimate entanglement between the domestic and international levels of authority".

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The first efforts to understand this were 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 e. Though scarcely recognized at the time, this research revives a rich tradition in political science represented by Karl Deutsch on the effect of societal transactions on government structure, Robert Dahl on the virtues and vices of multilevel democracy, and Stein Rokkan on identity and territorial politics.

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 were revised and insights from among others, public policy were added. The most straightforward way of understanding this theoretical shift is to see it as a move away from treating the EU as an international organisation similar to others e.

NATO to seeing it as something unique among international organisations. The uniqueness of the EU relates both to the nature and to the extent of its development. This means that in some areas of activity the EU displays more properties related to national political systems than to those of international organisations. The theory of multi-level governance belongs to the second phase. Multi-level governance characterizes the changing relationships between actors situated at different territorial levels, both from the public and the private sectors.

The multi-level governance theory crosses the traditionally separate domains of domestic and international politics and highlights the increasingly fading distinction between these domains in the context of European integration.

Multi-level governance

Multi-level governance was first developed from a study of EU policy and then applied to EU decision-making more generally. An early explanation referred to multi-level governance as a system of continuous negotiation among nested governments at several territorial tiers [3] and described how supranational, national, regional, and local governments are enmeshed in territorially overarching policy networks. 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. This becomes evident by the number and scope of policy areas covered by the European Union and the way policy is developed. The European Union can be characterised by a mix of classic intergovernmental cooperation between sovereign states and far-reaching supranational integration. Multi-level governance within the EU is understood as respecting competences, sharing responsibilities and cooperating between the various levels of governance: the EU, the Member States and the regional and local authorities.

In this context, it refers to the principle of subsidiarity , which places decisions as close as possible to the citizens and ensures that that action at Union level is justified in light of the possibilities available at national, regional or local level. This entanglement is one of the basic principles of the 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.

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 with the changes of the institutional design of the European Union, the current model governance has been shaped as a setup of constraints upon political margin of discretion, applying the central tenet of ordoliberalism with the aim to use strong rules in order to reduce the discretionary exercise of powers by institutions so as to avoid an arbitrary use of them. This principle has achieved an extreme effect at the European level, that one not to avoid arbitrary use of political powers but to keep political responsibility and participation out of the decision-making process.

As Laruffa concludes: "It is quite clear that such a model of governance, which is made only by rules without any role for a democratic policy-making process, imposes a de facto limit to on the political rights of the European citizens. This means that there is a control exercised by rules over the European citizens rather than a control by the European citizens over rules and policies.

Within the European Union nearly 95, local and regional authorities currently have significant powers in key sectors such as education, the environment, economic development, town and country planning, transport, public services and social policies. They help ensure the exercise of European democracy and citizenship. Special rights and competences for regions, cities and communities are supposed to enable and preserve diversity of governance at local and regional level. In a broader sense, this concept also includes the participation of non-state players like economic and social partners and civil society 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 represents an important step towards institutional recognition of multi-level governance in the way the European Union operates. 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, notably territorial cohesion as part of the process of European integration. The Committee of the Regions has established a system to monitor the compliance with the subsidiarity thorough the whole EU policy and law making process.

Nevertheless, multi-level governance within the EU is a dynamic and ongoing process. On 16 June the Committee of the Regions adopted a White Paper on multi-level governance which recommended specific mechanisms and instruments for stimulating all stages of the European decision-making process. As a follow up to the White paper on Multi-level Governance, the Committee developed a "Scoreboard on Multi-level Governance" to monitor on a yearly basis the development of multi-level governance at European Union level. On 3 April the Committee of the Regions adopted a Charter for Multi-level Governance calling public authorities of all levels of governance to use and promote multi-level governance in their future undertakings.

The point of departure for multi-level governance was Europe, but recent books and articles have dealt with the dispersion of authority away from central states in Latin America, Asia, and North America. Decentralization has been at least as marked in Latin America as in Europe over the past two decades, and several Asian countries have decentralized in the past decade.

A recent survey counts 32 regional IGOs pooling authority over quite wide areas of policy and which cover all but a handful of states in the world today. 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 sub national levels of government are crucial issues for improving the quality and coherence of public policy.

The "horizontal" dimension refers to co-operation arrangements between regions or between municipalities. These agreements are increasingly common as a means by which to improve the effectiveness of local public service delivery and implementation of development strategies. There has been an intensification of research on the consequences as well as the character of multi-level governance.

The concept was developed as a tool of pure research, but it now motivates policy makers. From the late s the European Commission began to refer to its own mission as one of achieving multilevel governance, especially in cohesion policy. International organizations have also taken positions on the issue. However, the consequences of multilevel governance are debated.

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Research on both causes and consequences of multi-level governance is ongoing and more and more information about the subnational as well as the international dimension of multi-level governance is available in the context of larger data sets. Global climate change is being contributed to by ever increasing levels of greenhouse gas emissions emanating from decisions and activities of individuals and organisations at local, regional, national and international levels. It has become increasingly clear that nation-states will be unable to commit to and meet international targets and agreements for offsetting climate change without engaging with the activity of sub-national and local action.

Greenhouse gas GHG emissions stem from certain activities that originate from specific places, bringing about thought that the local scale is the most appropriate political scale to produce necessary offsets in emissions. The levels of governance authority handed down to local governments within cities has been perceived to out-do policy goals within the national and international arena, [30] with some local governments taking on their own initiatives for tackling urban climate change.

This sets an important stance to which the local 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 of being implemented on multi-scales 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 pressure to meet targets of increased energy efficiencies set by national governments.

A form of self-governing within multi-level systems is horizontal collaboration where cities may collaborate with regions demonstrating multi-levels of governance to tackle urban climate change, [32] imperative to the success of city climate change policy. Governing through enabling is the co-ordination and facilitation of partnerships with private organisations by the local government. Governing through provision, a form of vertical collaboration along with governing through enabling, applies itself to the multi-levels of governance. Climate change in cities is tackled here through the shaping of and delivery of services and resources, with additional support aided to local governments from regional and national authorities.

Such regulation characterises traditional forms of authoritative governance, exemplifying local to nation-state relations, [35] almost nearly covering the entirety of the multi-level governance scale. The SNI-WG realizes several activities at global and regional levels including organizing panels at multiple regional and global forums, hosting peer-learning discussions, publishing reports and case studies, along with facilitating technical workshops, webinars and providing advisory Remote Expert Assistance on LEDS 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.