Governance and Intergovernmental Relations in the European Union and the United States
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Governance and Intergovernmental Relations in the European Union and the United States

Theoretical Perspectives

Edited by Edoardo Ongaro, Andrew Massey, Marc Holzer and Ellen Wayenberg

This book represents a major attempt to draw together two fundamental streams of research: intergovernmental relations and multi-level governance (MLG). Combining US and European schools of thought, this timely volume outlines key areas of convergence and divergence.
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Chapter 5: Rethinking Network Governance: New Forms of Analysis and the Implications for IGR/MLG

Michael Farrelly, Stephen Jeffares and Chris Skelcher


1 Michael Farrelly, Stephen Jeffares and Chris Skelcher INTRODUCTION This chapter considers three approaches to the discursive analysis of democracy in network governance and the implications for the study of intergovernmental relations and multi-level governance (IGR/MLG). The focus is on the conceptual, theoretical and methodological aspects of recent developments in network governance, in particular what has been termed the second generation of network governance literature (Marcusson and Torfing 2007). This literature is particularly concerned with the democratic analysis of emergent institutions of interactive policy formulation, as well as some of the methodological issues that are involved. It has both an analytical and normative dimension, offering prescriptions for institutional design especially in relation to the engagement of citizens and civil society actors in the policy process. The concept of ‘network governance’ has been important in the analysis of MLG in Europe and, to a more limited extent, inter-governmental relations in the US. In Europe, scholars have found the concept useful when confronted with a system of European governance that is not ordered as a spatial hierarchy; that is, governmental authority is not graded downwards from the highest spatial scale. ‘Network governance’ offers a way of understanding the interactions across supranational, national, regional and local tiers of government, and of explaining the public policy process in this partly integrated and still evolving entity. In contrast, the federal system in the US is a relatively stable spatial hierarchy of government and thus traditional approaches to the analysis of inter-governmental relations have not been...

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