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Handbook on Multi-level Governance

Handbook on Multi-level Governance

Elgar original reference

Edited by Henrik Enderlein, Sonja Wälti and Michael Zürn

Scholarship of multi-level governance has developed into one of the most innovative themes of research in political science and public policy. This accessible Handbook presents a thorough review of the wide-ranging literature, encompassing various theoretical and conceptual approaches to multi-level governance and their application to policy-making in domestic, regional and global contexts.

Chapter 11: Multi-level Governance in Canadian and American Intergovernmental Relations

Michael B. Stein and Lisa Turkewitsch

Subjects: politics and public policy, public policy, regulation and governance


Michael B. Stein and Lisa Turkewitsch1 11.1 INTRODUCTION How can the concept of multi-level governance (MLG) contribute to the comparative analysis of internal intergovernmental relations in Canada and the USA? In an earlier paper,2 we argued that the concepts of federalism and MLG share some major characteristics and also manifest some major differences. In that paper we applied this comparison of federalism and MLG to the European Union (EU) in order to evaluate these shared and different characteristics. Most European federal and MLG theorists have tended to view the two concepts as complementary rather than contradictory, and to consider the boundaries between them to be increasingly blurred. Therefore when the EU is defined and analysed as a form of MLG, it is generally placed somewhere on a broad ‘federal’ continuum between confederations and federations (Stein and Turkewitsch 2008, pp. 17, 20, citing Burgess 2000). In this chapter we extend this comparison and application of the concepts of federalism and MLG to the patterns of internal intergovernmental relations of two ‘mature federations,’ Canada and the USA. We view the former as representative of ‘parliamentarycabinet’ regimes and the latter as typical of ‘presidential-congressional’ regimes. We argue that the traditional intergovernmental concepts and frameworks drawn from theories of federalism continue to serve as useful devices for a systematic comparative analysis of internal intergovernmental relations in the two countries representing two different federal regime types described by Watts as ‘parliamentary federations’ (for example, Canada, Australia, India, Germany, Austria) and ‘presidential federations’ (for...

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