Edited by Edoardo Ongaro, Andrew Massey, Marc Holzer and Ellen Wayenberg
Chapter 1: Introduction. Policy Formulation Processes in IGR Settings: Analytical Models and Perspectives
Martin Laffin and Carol Weissert The next five chapters illustrate the trends towards greater multi-level governance and the consequences of these trends for who leads and drives policy formulation processes. In both the US and Europe intergovernmental relations (IGR) have grown considerably more complex. This increase in complexity reflects vital changes in the wider political system. The role of governments is changing (although being redefined rather than shrinking) and increasingly the problems confronting policymakers pull them towards thinking and acting beyond their jurisdictional boundaries. Consequently, they are drawn to work and to collaborate with others beyond their own jurisdictional and territorial boundaries. This trend to work beyond jurisdictions is placing severe strains on the traditional mechanisms of governmental accountability. The elected politicians face greater difficulties not just in responding to the new problems but in holding their own officials, and those from other jurisdictions, to account. Thus the traditional language of public administration no longer acts as an effective guide to these new problems of accountability. Meanwhile, the grassroots decline of the political parties has further divorced the elected parties from citizens. The question of ‘who governs?’ has both grown more pressing yet ever more difficult to answer. Given these new politics of intergovernmental relations, how does policy change happen in a federal system? Conlan and Posner stress that problems have become nationalized in the US as state and local governments have lost influence and leverage over policymaking. The nationalization of the political parties has seriously weakened the ability...