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.
The main aim and objective of the Action is to generate new insights on how to organize and optimize institutions and processes of intergovernmental coordination. Insights are novel and original resulting from the systematic comparative analysis of a broad array of situations, applications and experts from diverse disciplines and countries.
- Collecting comparative evidence on institutions, processes and mechanisms of horizontal, vertical, cross-sectoral and cross-border intergovernmental coordination in a wide variety of federal, decentralized and unitary countries.
- Searching for patterns and examples of best practices of intergovernmental coordination by conducting iterative processes of systematic and structured comparison of the evidence across different countries and across different coordination situations from various disciplinary perspectives.
- Building a sustainable knowledge base and establishing a network of scholars and practitioners.
- Promote Gender Mainstreaming and gender balance.
- Enhance the capacity for Early Career Investigators (ECIs) by organizing training and mentoring and by inviting them to contribute to the workshops.
- Promote Inclusiveness Target Countries (ITC).
- Promote the exchange of experiences between practitioners, academia and the general public.