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Cover Comparative Politics

11. Multilevel Governance  

Liesbet Hooghe, Gary Marks, and Arjan H. Schakel

This chapter examines multilevel governance, the dispersion of authority to jurisdictions within and beyond national states. It summarizes the tremendous growth of multilevel governance since World War II, and reviews the major theories that seek to explain this. Whereas economists and public policy analysts explain multilevel governance as a functionalist adaptation to the provision of public goods, sociologists and political scientists focus on the effects of territorial identity and distributional conflict. These approaches complement each other, and today researchers draw on them to explain variation over time and across space. The chapter concludes by discussing three topics that have been affected by multilevel governance: democratic representation, ethno-territorial conflict, and social policy.