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Explaining the democratic anchorage of governance networks: Evidence from four European countries

Skelcher, Chris and Klijn, Erik-Hans and Kubler, Daniel and Sorensen, Eva and Sullivan, Helen (2011) Explaining the democratic anchorage of governance networks: Evidence from four European countries. administrative theory and praxis, 33 (1). pp. 7-38. ISSN 1084-1806

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URL of Published Version: http://www.patheory.org/volume-33

Identification Number/DOI: 10.2753/ATP1084-1806330100

Advances in understanding the democratic anchorage of governance networks require carefully designed and contextually grounded empirical analysis that take into account contextual factors. The article uses a conjectural framework to study the impact of the national ‘democratic milieu’ on the relationship between network governance and representative institutions in four European countries - the United Kingdom, Switzerland, the Netherlands and Denmark. The article shows that the distinction between majoritarian and consensus democracy, as well as the varying strength of voluntary associations are important contextual factors that help understand cross-national differences in the relationship between governance networks and representative institutions. We conclude that a context of weak associationalism in majoritarian democracies facilitates the instrumentalization of networks by governmental actors (United Kingdom), whereas while in consensus democracies a more complementary role of governance networks prevails (Switzerland). However, in consensus democracies characterised by a context of strong associationalism (the Netherlands and Denmark), the spread of governance networks in public policy-making is likely to lead to more substantial transformations of the democratic processes.

Type of Work:Article
Date:2011 (Publication)
School/Faculty:Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Social Sciences
Department:Instituute of Local Government Studies
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Keywords:democracy governance network Europe
Subjects:JN Political institutions (Europe)
Institution:University of Birmingham
Copyright Holders:Public Administration Theory Network
ID Code:789
Refereed:YES
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