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Multi-Level Governance




Admissions requirements

Introduction to Comparative Politics. The Comparative Party Systems course is recommended.


In this course, we explore the state of European politics and administration in a context where the nation-state is being partially 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, power relationships, and policy implications. After a theoretical introduction the course delves into the historical context, explanations for European integration, the EU’s institutional framework, policies, implication for actors and institutions at the national and subnational level, and topical issues and debates. The classes will consist of interactive lectures and seminars.

Course objectives

  • To provide students with knowledge of the most important theoretical, empirical and normative debates on multi-level governance and European integration

  • To familiarize 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.

  • To enhance students’ academic presenting and writing skills.

Course objectives

On completion of the course, students should be able to:

  • Discuss the key characteristics, strengths and weaknesses of the MLG approach

  • How a thorough understanding of the nature, development, and functioning of the European Union.

  • 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.

  • Build, present and defend well-grounded arguments on the nature, strengths and pitfalls of multi-level governance in different regions of the world.


Once available, timetables will be published in the e-Prospectus.

Mode of instruction

The course will be taught through interactive lectures and seminars. Taken together, this course’s teaching methods are interactive, deal with real life situations and challenge students to deliver the best work possible.

Students will do the large majority of the work individually. Seminars are explicitly meant to collective assess and weigh viewpoints and arguments. All assessment will be based on individual performance.


In-class participation: 10%
Mid-term exam: 25%
Outline for the essay (1 page): 10%
Essay (2500 words): 20%
Final exam: 35%

Please note:

  • In accordance with article 4.8 of the Course and Examination Regulations (OER), within 30 days after the publication of grades, the instructor will provide students the opportunity to inspect their exams/coursework.

  • There is a no re-sit policy at Leiden University College.


There will be a Blackboard site available for this course. Students will be enrolled at least one week before the start of classes.

Reading list



This course is open to LUC students and LUC exchange students. Registration is coordinated by the Education Coordinator. Interested non-LUC students should contact