Edited by Henrik Enderlein, Sonja Wälti and Michael Zürn
Chapter 28: Economic Policy-making and Multi-level Governance
Henrik Enderlein 28.1 INTRODUCTION The central diagnosis from the assessment of economic policy management of the ‘Great Recession’ of 2007–09 is a paradox: the crisis was global, but the responses were national. If economic globalization has become a fact of life, it has not yet become a fact of politics. Indeed, many of the tools of economic policy-making still rest under the exclusive competence of national authorities (with the notable exception of the European Union (EU) as discussed below) and – even more importantly – are applied on the basis of largely national considerations. This triggers the question of the right level at which economic policy choices should be made. There is an interesting back-and-forth movement between upward and downward delegation of economic policy-making across levels, reaching from municipalities via subnational entities to the nation-state, regional actors, and the global level. For example, global economic coordination was at its heights after the emergence of the Bretton Woods system in the 1950s and 1960s; during this time, the global ‘level’ constituted an independent layer of economic policy authority. But with the breakdown of the Bretton Woods system, regional configurations – and in particular the EU – became more important. At the level of nation-states, there were times in which fiscal centralization was advocated, whereas current developments clearly point in the direction of decentralization and thus a downward delegation of economic competence in the multi-level system. The purpose of this chapter is to provide a structured review of different configurations of economic policy-making in a...
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