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Multi-level Governance


Admission requirements

This course is part of the governance track of the International Development, Sustainability, and World Politics majors. The prerequisite of this course is the 200-level course Decision-Making Processes; however, students who have taken other 200-level courses in allied fields could also request admission.


In this course, we explore the state of politics and administration in a context where the nation-state is being hollowed-out, and authority is increasingly being reallocated upward to supranational institutions, downward to regional and local bodies and sideways to private and societal organizations. The purpose of this course is to shed light on the phenomenon’s meaning, origin, organization, actual practicing and power relationships, and policy implications. The course consists of five parts: I. Theoretical introduction; II. The subnational level; III. The national level, IV. The EU level, V. Class presentations, VI. Conclusion. While the focus will be on MLG within Europe, ample attention will be given tot MLG in other regions (North America, Post-Soviet Eurasia and ASEAN) and global governance. The classes will consist of interactive lectures, guest lectures, and class presentations.

Course objectives

  • Providing students with knowledge of the most important theoretical, empirical and normative debates on multi-level governance. – Familiarizing students with topical research in the field of MLG, which brings together political science, public administration, EU-studies and international relations. – To enhance students’ critical understanding of the potential and limits of various recent governance approaches. – Stimulating active class participation – To enhance students academic presenting and writing skills.
    On completion of the course, students should be able to: – Discuss the key characteristics, strengths and weaknesses of the MLG approach – Apply theoretical concepts to concrete instances of politics and administration at different levels of government and between levels of government – Follow and understand debates on institutional, policy, democratic and legitimacy challenges in contemporary governance.


See LUC The Hague website:

Mode of instruction

The course will be taught by making us of multiple teaching methods: – interactive lectures by the course teacher – guest lectures by both expert academics and professionals from the field – class discussions – class presentations

Assessment method

  1. Interactive engagement with course material: assessed through in-class participation (15% of final grade): Ongoing Weeks 1 – 7
  2. Finding and processing specific material, group-preparation and delivery of presentation, discussion moderation: assessed through in-class presentation and discussion-moderation (15% of final grade): Weeks 1 – 7
  3. Individual understanding and analysis of core readings and extra material: assessed through Essay (2500 words; 30% of final grade): Week 7 (Thursday at 14:00)
  4. Understanding of course content: assessed through final exam (40% of final grade) Week 8


This course is supported by a BlackBoard site.

Reading list

  • Bache, I. and M. Flinders (eds.) (2004) Multi-level Governance, Oxford: Oxford University Press – Hooghe, L., G. Marks and A.H. Schakel (2010) The Rise of Regional Authority, Oxon and New York: Routledge. – additional articles and book parts which are accessible online.


This course is only open for LUC The Hague students.

Contact information

Dr. Caspar F. van den Berg
Institute of Public Administration
Leiden University
Wassenaarseweg 52
2300 RB Leiden – NL

Weekly Overview

Part I
Week 1
A Introduction and course overview
B Theory of MLG

Part II
Week 2
A MLG in urban governance
B MLG in the region
Week 3
A The rise of regional authority

Part III
Week 3
B MLG in EU member states
Week 4
A National Parliaments in MLG
B Organized Interests in MLG

Part IV
Week 5
A The EU’s institutional constellation
B Multi-level Policy and Democracy

Part V
Week 6
A Class presentations
B Class presentations
Week 7
A Class presentations

Part VI
Week 7
B Synthesis Lecture
Week 8
Reading and exam week