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Accountability, Democratic Scrutiny and Intergovernmental Coordination

Comparative Politics
Federalism
Parliaments
P006
Johanna Schnabel
University of Kent
Nicolas Levrat
University of Geneva

Friday 09:00 - 10:40 (08/09/2017)

Building: BL16 Georg Morgenstiernes hus Floor: 2 Room: GM 204

Abstract

In multi-level and federal systems, policy-making necessitates communication and coordination between the different levels of government. The distribution of power may require or facilitate coordination between governments if different levels of government share responsibilities over policy areas. Moreover, governments need to coordinate to ensure successful implementation by territorial entities of decisions taken at the central level. Inter-dependencies and spill-overs between policy areas may, on the one hand, render coordination between governments desirable for reasons of effectiveness of policy-making. On the other hand, intergovernmental relations are dominated by executives, which creates problems of accountability in the relationship between the different branches of government at each level. Given the dominance of executives in the conduct of intergovernmental relations, the need or desirability of intergovernmental coordination shifts decision-making to an extra-parliamentary arena. Therefore, intergovernmental coordination raises questions of democratic accountability and effective legislative oversight. At the same time, consensus-building and effectiveness of coordination between executives are sometimes facilitated by negotiating behind closed doors. Intergovernmental coordination, therefore, takes places between the conflicting priorities of effectiveness, parliamentary / public accountability and transparency. The panel assembles papers that are offering insights into the consequences of the dominance of executives in vertical or horizontal intergovernmental coordination for executive-legislative relations in multi-level polities. The panel aims at investigating roles of parliaments, the instruments and resources available to parliaments, as well as the way they are used to scrutinise and hold the executive to account. Papers may focus on the legal and political capacity of national or regional parliaments to perform their function of legislative oversight and scrutiny over executive coordination; on scrutiny behaviour of parliamentarians in comparative perspective; on factors that impact on capacity and behaviour of parliamentarians with regard to executive coordination; or on questions of democratic accountability in multi-level systems. The panel also welcomes papers that address the before-mentioned tension between effective policy-making and accountability / transparency inherent in intergovernmental coordination.
Title Details
Local Self-Government Reform in Russian Regions in 2003-2015: Factors of Mayors’ Survival View Paper Details
Institutions and Institutional Change in Subnational Switzerland: Cantonal Parliaments under Federal and Executive Pressure View Paper Details