Achieving coordination between executive actors of territorial units is one of the major challenges of today’s politics. External effects and thus the interdependence of political actions beyond borders of sovereign authority have increased dramatically, necessitating better coordination of decision-making and actions across territorial units as well as across levels of government in an increasingly complex environment. The effectiveness and legitimacy of democratic governance in modern States depends crucially on their coordination ability. There is still a serious lack of knowledge among scholars and practitioners on how to organize and process intergovernmental coordination in those various instances. Moreover, there is still no systematic connection between the various research communities dealing with the issues from their separate perspectives, such as federalism, European governance or local and regional governance scholars.
IGCOORD aims at connecting those different strands of research to provide systematic and comparable insights in the institutions, mechanisms and processes of intergovernmental coordination in the horizontal and in the vertical direction, across levels of government, policy sectors and territorial units. More specifically, it aims at 1) collecting comparative evidence, 2) distilling basic mechanisms and causal explanations from analytic comparison, 3) developing new collaborative research questions and 4) disseminating those insights and results to inform real-world policy-making.
IGCOORD is particularly well suited to tackle those challenges because it links expertise that remained unrelated to date from different countries, (sub-)disciplines and problem situations. Fundamentally, only a broad and diverse network of scholars can generate innovative insights and produce knowledge relevant to the political practice.