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Edited by Henrik Enderlein, Sonja Wälti and Michael Zürn
Chapter 10: Multi-level Governance in Germany and Switzerland
10 Multi-level governance in Germany and Switzerland Dietmar Braun 10.1 INTRODUCTION Multi-level governance is not a brand-new topic for federal states. Many policy fields in federal countries were and are subject not only to one authority level of territorial powers but to the influence of both the federal government and member states and, occasionally, also of local governments. Discussions that are now taking place under the label of multi-level governance are therefore familiar to experts of federalism. What the discussion on multi-level governance adds, however, is the relevance of additional authority levels interfering with the ‘three-layered’ structure of federal states, that is, the international, and in Europe, the supranational level.1 These levels increase the complexity of territorial governance. Discussions on multi-level governance have also contributed to a renewed attention for the level of the local government (cities and communities), which have remained in the shadow of attention for the relationship between the federal and member state level until recently. Multi-level governance has therefore enlarged the discussion about the territorial distribution of powers in federal states but at the same time it has narrowed scientific attention to coordination problems among territorial levels. The focus is on policy fields that are not attributed to only one territorial level but in which at least two or more territorial levels have an influence on decision-making (Benz 2004). Such policy fields can typically not be dealt with by using a hierarchical governance mode. If several actors have the ‘right to decide’ (Braun 2000), ways and...
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