Intermediary Levels of Governance in Multilevel Systems: Exploring the Second Tier of Local Government from the Assessment of Laymen Politicians

  • Björn EgnerEmail author
Part of the Comparative Territorial Politics book series (COMPTPOL)


Governing in multilevel systems in considered complex from various perspectives. One level which is vastly neglected in multilevel research concerns the ‘second tier’ of local politics, which is situated between the lowest (municipal) level and the upper levels (state or provincial government, national) of government. In different countries, this ‘second tier’ of local politics (e.g. Kreise in Germany, counties in England, etc.) is responsible for different issues and policies and it is also different in terms of politics. Using survey data of more than 5000 elected county council members from 14 European countries, this chapter pursues the question of how active politicians from this level of government assess the importance of their political units within the multilevel system they are embedded in and how they see the future of this special level of government in their respective countries. Findings are based on a cross-country comparative statistical analysis taking into account the county councillors’ notions towards the mutual influence of upper levels, the county level and the municipal level as well as their opinion on institutional reforms recently discussed in connection with the county level.


Governance Local government Multilevel Second tier 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Technische Universität DarmstadtDarmstadtGermany

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