EU Administration and Multi Level Governance – General Objectives and Research Profile

The central research focus of the PSG XIV is on the nexus between multilevel administration, public management, and public policy. In this context, special attention is given to the European Union, which represents a particularly advanced, constantly evolving system of multilevel administration. More in particular, we seek to understand the evolving structures, actors and processes of EU multilevel administration. In doing so, we embrace both empirical approaches that document and explain the dynamics of the EU multilevel administrative system, but also approaches that focus on their (normative) implications. Whilst the focus of the study group is on the multilevel administration of the EU, it does, however, for comparative purposes not necessarily exclude innovative research on other types of multilevel systems, including federal polities or regional and global organisations.

The research interest is on structures, actors and processes of multilevel administration, as well as the normative implications of policy-making in multilevel administrations. Structures raise questions about the organisation and institutional set-up of administrative orders, practices and change. Regarding actors, the main focus is on collective or individual public actors in administrations and management. Special attention will be devoted to less-likely actors involved in Europeanization: national Courts, parliaments, national agencies, and subnational governments. In addition, the nexus between national and EU or other supranational actors is a particular research niche the PSG aims to fill. Processes may cover questions of the emergence and change of administrative practices and organisation, as well as studies that transfer public policy concepts – such as the policy cycle – to the realm of multilevel policy-making. Furthermore we seek to understand the normative implications of multilevel administration, its emergence, practices and change implied.

The PSG is committed to advance both theoretical conceptualisations of multilevel administrations and thorough empirical analyses in order to advance the area of research and the understanding about complex administrative processes and organisation. Comparative perspectives on change over time or between different systems and/or approaches are particularly welcomed and should be embedded in the larger EGPA research community.

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