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Multi-Level Governance


Admission requirements

Required course(s):

  • Introduction to Comparative Politics, or

  • Politics of the Policy Process: A Comparative Perspective, or

  • permission from the convener/instructor.


In this course, we will explore complex forms of governance in which a variety of state and non-state actors in different jurisdictions cooperate for public policy provision. We will investigate the range of institutional shapes that multi-level governance can take, the effects of different multilevel design solutions on policy practice and outcomes, and the toolbox available to policymakers to facilitate collaboration. We will study the complexity of multi-level governance drawing on the existing theoretical approaches, analytical models, and empirical studies, but also and importantly by applying these models and insights to original case studies developed by each student individually and in teams. Throughout classes and assignments, academic perspectives will be combined with applied policy approaches to advance the course participants’ skills and competences in critical policy analysis from the governance perspective.

The course focuses on policy settings in which policy issues require collaboration of multiple (types of) actors from multiple tiers of governance (local, sub-national regional, national, international, global, as well as transnational and translocal). In this course, the students will gain knowledge about complex policy challenges and the variety of available governance solutions beyond the traditional top-down, state-centered policy making.

Course Objectives

  • Understand multi-level governance as a policy phenomenon and a theoretical perspective

  • Recognize the variety of complex policy problems and identify the institutional solutions they require

  • Identify different types of complex governance

  • Apply analytical models and theories to new empirical cases

  • Map and analyse the institutional design of multi-level governance arrangements

  • Assess collaborative governance designs in multi-level settings

  • Apply micro-politics to power analysis

  • Explain multi-level governance outcomes using appropriate analytical frameworks


Timetables for courses offered at Leiden University College in 2022-2023 will be published on this page of the e-Prospectus.

Mode of instruction

The learning goals for the course will be achieved through a mix of educational activities: taught through a mix of interactive lectures, tutorials and workshops functioning as settings for group discussion; and individual and group assignments.

Assessment Method

  • 10% participation assessed continually through participation in seminars and in-class activities.

  • 25% Group simulation

  • 30% Individual position paper

  • 35% Group policy paper

Reading list

Course readings will be available at a Brightspace site for this course or the Leiden University library.


Courses offered at Leiden University College (LUC) are usually only open to LUC students and LUC exchange students. Leiden University students who participate in one of the university’s Honours tracks or programmes may register for one LUC course, if availability permits. Registration is coordinated by the Education Coordinator,


Dr. Davina Osei,