Constitutional policy in multilevel government : the art of by Arthur Benz

By Arthur Benz

Constitutional coverage in Multilevel govt compares tactics of constitutional reform in federal and regionalized states. according to a theoretical framework emphasizing the relevance of negotiations in parliamentary, intergovernmental, and societal arenas, it identifies stipulations for profitable reforms and explains the implications of failed reforms. additionally, it highlights the interaction of reform approaches and Read more...

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This quantity compares procedures of constitutional reform in federal and regionalized states. Read more...

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Even when situations require major policy changes, only incremental modification of the status quo can be achieved. In multilevel governments where powers are separated, the complexity of policies and the interconnectedness of central and regional decisions require coordination between different levels of government. Disentangling policies entirely between levels will therefore fail to achieve a sufficient quality of policy performance. Performance losses may also occur, if coordination between levels of government does not find support in the constituent units, or if accountability to parliaments or commitments to interests groups reduce the discretion of policy-makers to find compromises (Benz 2000b).

The study summarized in this book focuses on this particular aspect of dynamics, without ignoring the wider context of historical evolution or state–society relations and the related causal mechanisms and outcomes (Benz and Broschek 2013c). Therefore, the core of our analytical framework aims at understanding and explaining the mechanism of constitutional policy. In federal or multilevel governments, constitutional policy cuts across boundaries of jurisdictions or institutions, in particular when governments 30 OUP CORRECTED PROOF – FINAL, 23/6/2016, SPi Theoretical Framework and Research Design from different levels have to find an agreement or coordinate decisions on a reallocation of powers.

Concerning the horizontal dimension, federal or regionalized governments are challenged either by conflicts among governments or by conflicts among social groups. In integrated multilevel systems characterized by a homogeneous society, government-centered issues prevail, like the distribution of fiscal resources or institutional conditions for horizontal coordination of regional policies. In disintegrated federations, society-centered conflicts have to be managed. Accordingly, finding or maintaining a balance of power implies different challenges for constitutional policy depending on how problems of governance and integration are framed in constitutional policy.

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