Active Inclusion in a Multi-Level and Multi-Actor Context
Edited by Rune Halvorsen and Bjørn Hvinden
Chapter 9: Mixing multi-level and network governance: how do local actors relate to the policies, steering mechanisms and resources of higher-level actors?
The shift from ‘government’ to ‘governance’ has attracted growing academic and political interest (e.g. Daly, 2003; Pierre and Peters, 2000; Newman, 2001, 2005; cf. Chapter 1). Economic globalization, the construction of an internal market within the European Union (EU) and labour mobility across borders have constrained the ability of national governments to make decisions and enforce them. This development – often referred to as a ‘hollowing out’ of the nation state (Kooiman, 2002) – suggests that authority flows away from traditional institutions of government. Supposedly, we see a flow ‘upwards’ in the sense that the importance of supranational decision-making and regulation has grown, and a flow ‘downwards’ in the sense that actors, decision-makers and authorities at regional and local levels have gained a more important role (Johansson et al., 2013). Issues of decentralization, re-scaling and localism are on the agenda, and some authors have even claimed that what we are witnessing is a new trend in welfare state development described as ‘austerity localism’ (Featherstone et al., 2012). At the same time, some scholars argue that current governance arrangements entail a wider set of actors than merely governmental agencies. According to Kazepov (2008, p. 248), the two main trends with regard to social policies are the reorganization of regulative powers at different territorial levels and the multiplication of actors involved in ‘designing, managing and implementing social policies’.
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