Swings and Roundabouts? Multilevel Governance as a Source of and Constraint on Policy Capacity

  • B. Guy Peters
  • Jon Pierre


Albeit cast in different conceptual and theoretical frameworks, policy capacity sits at the centre of several predominant debates in contemporary political analysis.1 Issues such as devolution and globalization typically revolve around the question of the extent to which the state has sufficient capabilities to design and implement intelligent policy (Hirst and Thompson, 1999). Similarly, the debate on the ‘hollowing out of the state’ (Rhodes, 1994; see also Holliday, 2000) suggests that this change in patterns of governance marks not just a shift in the political economy and regulatory nature of the state in advanced Western democracies but also the dismantling of the policy expertise previously harboured by central government.


Member State Unitary State Structural Fund Governance Capacity Multilevel Governance 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Bache, I. and M. Flinders (eds) (2004) Multilevel Governance (Oxford: Oxford University Press).Google Scholar
  2. Bernard, P. (1992) Le préfet de la République — Le chêne et l’olivier (Paris: Economica).Google Scholar
  3. Cameron, D. and R. Simeon (2000) ‘Intergovernmental Relations and Democratic Citizenship’, in B. G. Peters and D. J. Savoie (eds), Governance in the Twenty-first Century (Montreal: McGill/Queens University Press) pp. 58–118.Google Scholar
  4. de Montricher, N. (1995) L’aménagement du territoire (Paris: La Decouverte).Google Scholar
  5. Dudek, C. M. (2001) The European Union’s Effect ipon Regional Development and Regional Governments’ Policy-Making Ability, Regional and Federal Studies, vol. 11, pp. 101–25.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Duran, P. (1999) Penser l’action social (Paris: Librairie Générale de Droit et de Jurisprudence).Google Scholar
  7. Duran, P. and J.-C. Thoenig (1996) ‘L’état et la gestion publique territoriale’, Revue française de science politique, vol. 46.Google Scholar
  8. Gremion, P. (1976) Le pouvoir périphérique (Paris: Editions du Seuil).Google Scholar
  9. Hirst, P. and G. Thompson (1999) Globalization in Question: The International Economy and the Possibilities of Governance (Cambridge: Polity).Google Scholar
  10. Holliday, I. (2000) ‘Is the British State Hollowing Out?’, Political Quarterly, vol. 71, pp. 167–76.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Hooghe, L. (2001) The European Commission and the Integration of Europe: Images of Governance (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press).Google Scholar
  12. Immergut, E. (1992) Health Care Politics: Ideas and Institutions in Western Europe (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press).Google Scholar
  13. Klatt, H. (1999) ‘Centralizing Trends in Western German Federalism’, in C. Jeffery (ed.), Recasting German Federalism: The Legacy of Unification (London: Pinter).Google Scholar
  14. Krause, G. (2001) A Two-Way Street: Institutional Dynamics of the Modem Administrative State (Pittsburgh, PA: University of Pittsburgh Press).Google Scholar
  15. Leonardy, U. (1999) ‘The Institutional Structures of German Federalism’, in C. Jeffery (ed.), Recasting German Federalism: The Legacy of Unification (London: Pinter).Google Scholar
  16. Marks, G. (1997) An Actor-centered Approach to Multi-Level Governance’, in C. Jeffrey (ed.), The Regional Dimension of the European Union: Towards a Third Level of Government? (London: Frank Cass), pp. 20–38.Google Scholar
  17. Marks, G., L. Hooghe and K. Blank (1996) ‘European Integration from the 1980s: State-Centric vs. Multi-Level Governance’, Journal of Common Market Studies, vol. 34, pp. 343–77.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Painter, M. (1998) Collaborative Federalism (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Peters, B. G. and J. Pierre (2004) ‘Multi-Level Governance: A Faustian Bargain?’, in I. Bache and M. Flinders (eds), Multi-Level Governance (Oxford: Oxford University Press) pp. 75–92.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Pierre, J. and B. G. Peters (2000) Governance, Politics and the State (Basingstoke: Palgrave).Google Scholar
  21. Pierre, J. and G. Stoker (2000) ‘Towards Multi-Level Governance’, in P. Dunleavy, A. Gamble, I. Holliday and G. Peele (eds), Developments in British Politics, 6th edn. (Basingstoke: Palgrave), 29–46.Google Scholar
  22. Pollack, M. (2003) The Engines of European Integration: Delegation, Agency and Agenda-Setting in the EU (Oxford: Oxford University Press).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Pressman, J. L. and A. Wildavsky (1974) Implementation (Berkeley, CA: University of California Press).Google Scholar
  24. Reigner, H. (2001)’ Multi-level Governance or Co-administration: Transformation and Continuity in French Local Administration’, Policy and Politics, vol. 29, pp. 181–92.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Rhodes, R. A. W. (1994) ‘The Hollowing out of the State’, Political Quarterly, vol. 65, pp. 138–51.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Scharpf, F. W. (2002) ‘The European Social Model; Coping with the Challenge of Diversity’, Journal of Common Market Studies, vol. 40, pp. 645–70.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Scharpf, F. W., B. Reissert and F. Schnabel (1976) Politikverflechtung: Theorie und Emperie des Kooperative Föderalismus in der Bundesrepublik (Kronberg: Scriptor).Google Scholar
  28. Sloat, A. (2002) Scotland in Europe: A Study of Multi-Level Governance (Oxford: Peter Lang).Google Scholar
  29. Smith, A. (1997) ‘Studying Multi-Level Governance: Examples from French Translations of the Structural Funds’, Public Administration, vol. 75, pp. 711–29.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Sorenson, E. and J. Torfing (2002) ‘Network Politics, Political Capital and Democracy’, International Journal of Public Administration, vol. 26, pp. 609–34.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Stoker, G. (ed.) (1999) The New Management of British Local Governance (London: Macmillan).Google Scholar
  32. Tsebelis, G. (2003) Veto Players (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press).Google Scholar
  33. Wieland, J. (2000) ‘Problems of Fiscal Federalism,’ European Union Review, vol. 5, pp. 7–21.Google Scholar
  34. Wilson, D. J. and C. Game (2002) Local Government in the United Kingdom (Basingstoke: Palgrave).Google Scholar
  35. Wright, D. S. (1988) Understanding Intergovernmental Relations (Pacific Grove, CA: Brooks/Cole).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • B. Guy Peters
  • Jon Pierre

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations