Asymmetric systems of multi-level governance

Multi-level systems of governance have in the past decades increasingly taken over the traditional organisation model of governing the unitary state. In a corresponding fashion, symmetry and equality of all constituent units of a polity that were once the rule are slowly but surely being replaced by asymmetrical constellations. This tendency has the aim of better representing the heterogeneous realities of multi-level systems. Increasingly, this development has taken place alongside the expansion of supranational integration, where new modes of governance were developed to accommodate the diversity of citizens. 

This course aims to analyse the contemporary realities of asymmetric systems of multi-level governance, both from a theoretical and an empirical perspective. More specifically, the course has three main goals: First, to present a historical and theoretical analysis of asymmetrical systems of governance, such as the theories of differentiated integration, polycentricity and constitutional pluralism. This theoretical introduction will serve as a move away from the well-travelled continuum between organisational modes of the unitary state to a federation. Secondly, the course seeks to engage students in a study of different versions of asymmetric systems across the globe, both on the national and supranational level. Examples of asymmetrical governance will include the devolved system of the United Kingdom, the organisation of autonomous regions in the Kingdom of Spain, as well as the European Union and the World Trade Organisation. Thirdly, the course aims to assess the existing modes of asymmetric systems in relation to theoretical ideal-types and reach conclusions as to their empirical and normative viability. 

The course will rely on case studies, presentations and research papers with the aim of engaging students in a discussion on contributions and advantages, as well as flaws of asymmetric modes of governance.

This course is for 2nd year MIA and MPP students only.

Instructor