B3 Democratic Multilevel Governance and Europeanization

Research Area B3 is dedicated to the challenges of democratic governance in multilevel political systems and gives special attention to the European level. The development of multilevel systems, however, is not restricted to the EU, since vertical relationships can be found in many other political systems as well—for example in federalized or decentralized countries.

Analytical units under scrutiny in Research Area B3 are individual, corporate and collective actors in regional, national and EU arenas, which shape the outcome of democratic decision-making processes. Research Area B3 also covers projects that deal with citizens’ perceptions of political decisions, induced by aspects of multilevel governance. The latter is of key importance, since we need more information on the degree of democratic legitimacy in times when a significant share of citizens consider processes of political decision-making to be in crisis at all levels of the political system. Projects in Area B3 thus focus first on the impact of European integration on the behaviour of citizens and institutional actors such as parties or national governments. Second, they address processes of political decision-making at the EU level and ask how these affect decision-making processes in third states and/or that of other political authorities from the national, regional or local level of EU Member States.