Edited by Edoardo Ongaro, Andrew Massey, Marc Holzer and Ellen Wayenberg
Chapter 18: Introduction. Intergovernmental Relations and Welfare
Giovanni Fattore and Norma M. Riccucci Intergovernmental relations in the field of welfare services are crucial in Europe and the United States. On both continents, all levels of government have become increasingly involved in legislation on welfare programmes, as well as in a range of related governing activities, such as regulation, financing, purchasing and delivery. It is important to note that, whereas in the US intergovernmental relations primarily involve interactions between and among the states and the federal government, in European welfare programmes intergovernmental relations are still mainly national affairs, with both management and policy being centred on the relationship between national governments, regions and local authorities. Nonetheless, on both continents, welfare programmes are the result of an articulated set of actions in which various players interact in increasingly sophisticated ways. The following chapters provide three important examples of intergovernmental relations in the governance of welfare services. Each chapter touches on a range of crucial dimensions in its investigations, while providing empirical evidence in several key areas. The study by Miller focuses on Medicaid regulations, examining both vertical and horizontal intergovernmental relations, i.e. the relationships between the federal and state levels in regulating the reimbursement of Medicaid facilities and the informal relationships that may favour policy transfers from one state to another. Miller’s study also exemplifies the presence of the four areas illustrated by Agranoff (2010). Medicaid is one of the traditional terrains where power is distributed between the federal and the state levels of government. At the same time...
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