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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 12: The Institutional Framework of the European Union

Markus Jachtenfuchs

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


Markus Jachtenfuchs 12.1 WHAT IS SPECIAL ABOUT GOVERNANCE IN THE EUROPEAN UNION? Using the concept of ‘governance’ as an analytical category allows for the possibility that collectively binding decisions can be taken by institutions other than the state. However, this entails a number of problems which the state typically does not have. In the first place, the state possesses the monopoly of the legitimate use of force (Weber 1978, pp. 54–6; Poggi 1990). Collectively binding decisions must not only be adopted but need to be implemented, often against the resistance of strong actors. The monopoly of the legitimate use of force is potentially a formidable resource for increasing the chances of collectively binding decisions to be put into practice. It is an instrument of power understood as the ability of one actor to enforce his will upon another against the latter’s resistance. During the development of the modern state, the monopoly of force has differentiated into an external branch, institutionalized in the military, and an internal branch, institutionalized in the police. Usually, the highest level of government in federal states possesses exclusive control over the military and at least partial control over the police or an independent police force. In the European Union (EU), the highest level of government has neither a military force independent of the member states for projecting power to the outside world nor an independent police force which could in the strict sense ‘enforce’ decisions upon non-complying member states, firms, organizations or individuals (Kelemen and...

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