Intergovernmental Cooperation: Rational Choices in Federal Systems and Beyond

Hardcover | September 16, 2009

byNicole Bolleyer

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Over the past decades, governments have increasingly been confronted with problems that transcend their boundaries. A multitude of policy fields are affected, including environment, trade and security. Responding to the challenges triggered by Europeanization and globalization, governmentsincreasingly interact across different spheres of authority. Both theoretically and empirically, the puzzle of institutional choice reflected by the variety of arrangements in which intergovernmental cooperation takes place inside individual countries and across their borders remains surprisinglyunder-explored. In an attempt to solve this puzzle, the book tackles the following questions: Why are the intergovernmental arrangements governments set up to deal with boundary-crossing problems so different? To what extent do these institutional differences affect the effectiveness ofintergovernmental cooperation? To address this gap theoretically and empirically, this book adopts a deductive, rationalist approach to institution-building. It argues that internal politics, the type of executive-legislative relations within the interacting governments, explains the nature of institutions set up to channelintergovernmental processes: while power-sharing governments engage in institution-building, power-concentrating governments avoid it. It also shows that these institutional choices matter for the output of intergovernmental cooperation. The approach is applied to Canada, Switzerland, the UnitedStates, and finally the European Union. Disaggregating individual government units, the theoretical approach reveals how intragovernmental micro-incentives drive macro-dynamics and thereby addresses the neglect of horizontal dynamics in multilevel systems. The willingness and capacity of lower-levelgovernments to solve collective problems on their own and to oppose central encroachment are crucial to understand the power distribution in different systems and their long-term evolutions.

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Over the past decades, governments have increasingly been confronted with problems that transcend their boundaries. A multitude of policy fields are affected, including environment, trade and security. Responding to the challenges triggered by Europeanization and globalization, governmentsincreasingly interact across different spheres ...

Nicole Bolleyer studied political science, German literature, linguistics and public law at the University of Mannheim (Germany) and at the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore (USA). She was a Lecturer in Politics in Mannheim and has a PhD in political science from the European University Institute in Florence (Italy). Since Septemb...

other books by Nicole Bolleyer

Format:HardcoverDimensions:264 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 0.98 inPublished:September 16, 2009Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199570604

ISBN - 13:9780199570607

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Table of Contents

1. Intergovernmental Relations and the Puzzle of Institutional Choice2. A Rationalist Account of Intergovernmental Institution-Building3. Intergovernmental Institutionalization in Canada4. Intergovernmental Institutionalization in Switzerland5. Intergovernmental Institutionalization in the United States6. Intergovernmental Integration in Canada, Switzerland and the United States7. Intergovernmental Institutions and the Nature of Intergovernmental Agreements8. Rational Choices in Federal Systems and BeyondReferences