Rethinking Federalism: Network Governance, Multi-Level Governance and Australian Politics


Research output: A Conference proceeding or a Chapter in BookChapter


There has been an explosion of interest in governance and multi-level
governance (MLG) over the past 20 years. The literature on governance has
drawn attention to the use of networked, collaborative and partnershipbased approaches, whilst the concept of MLG has combined these
concerns with a related set of questions about scale, including the dispersal
of decision-making authority from the local to the global level. This
combination of state transformation at both the vertical and horizontal
levels has proven to be particularly successful at capturing the imagination
of scholars both within and beyond the European Union (EU). At the
same time, the literature on Australian federalism and intergovernmental
relations has shown relatively little interest in directly engaging with the
concept of MLG and associated debates.
Here, we argue that the MLG literature raises new and important research
questions that currently remain relatively under-explored in the literature
on Australian federalism. In our view, these questions merit further
consideration because they have a potentially important impact on how
we understand the changing nature of intergovernmental relations and
the future of federalism more broadly conceived. It therefore seems
appropriate to examine what insights can be drawn from this literature
and the extent to which key concepts and ideas can be applied, with
suitable adaptations, to reflect the particularities of the Australian context
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMulti-Level Governance
Subtitle of host publicationConceptual Challenges and Case Studies
EditorsKatherine Daniell, Adrian Kay
Place of PublicationCanberra, Australia
PublisherANU E Press
Number of pages22
ISBN (Electronic)9781760461607
ISBN (Print)9781760461591
Publication statusPublished - 2017

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