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Nathalie Behnke

Multilevel government approaches allow us to discern the basic dimensions of territorial power distributions in federal, devolved and decentralized states. Arguments for establishing multilevel government structures in the history of political thought can be differentiated between a ‘cooperative surplus’ and a ‘protection from power through competition’ school. In analysing the power structures, the ideal-types of interstate versus intrastate federalism are shown to be fruitful for comparing multilevel government arrangements. The chapter discusses the effects of these ideal-type architectures on democracy, conflict resolution and political stability.

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Nathalie Behnke and Annegret Eppler

The workings of environmental federalism in Germany are strongly shaped by the multi-level character of the polity. The complex architecture of German federalism assigns different competencies to the federal and the Länder levels and provides for intense coordination across those levels. This setting is further complicated by interaction with European Union actors, institutions, processes and regulations. Furthermore, environmental policy-making cross-cuts different ‘traditional’ policy fields and requires different instruments. In our contribution we analyze this complex policy-making network of actors, institutions and processes along the phases of the policy cycle. The analysis reveals, first, that the Europeanization of environmental policy led to relevant changes and adaptations in the institutional structure in Germany; and second, that in spite of numerous potential veto points and opportunities for deadlock due to interactions of non-state and state actors from all levels of government, environmental decision-making in the German system is surprisingly effective.