Intergovernmental Coordination from Local to European Governance

Public organizations across Europe are eager to collaborate with private and community partners to tackle complex societal problems such as climate change, pandemics, and economic inequality. Researchers working in fields as diverse as environmental management, public administration, and educational studies have subsequently begun to study how these collaborations work, generating a wealth of concepts, insights, and data.
However, the current research efforts do not add up to a cumulative, internationally representative, and methodologically advanced evidence base. The empirical evidence mainly consists of qualitative case studies which offer rich accounts of individual collaborations, but often use disparate concepts and data. European studies also stem mostly from a small set of W-European countries, prohibiting insights in the importance of cross-national variation across the contintent. The fragmentation of activities across disciplines also means that methodological advances made in one field do not always spread.
This Action avows the importance of case studies in collaborative governance research, but rather than equating the case method with isolated scholars exploring their particularistic interest, the Action takes case studies as the starting point for new ways of data accumulation (enabling meta-analysis by constructing an open source case databank); international collaboration (building a European-wide cohort of collaborative governance scholars through shared training and exchanges), and methodological innovation (connecting advances from all fields working on collaborative governance).
The Action creates a permanent research infrastructure, ultimately involving more than 20 Member countries and four further partner countries, providing the backbone for more advanced and more international research and a launch pad for multiple Horizon Europe bids involving collaborative governance.

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