Collective action problems and influence of local intergovernmental associations

This project focuses on local intergovernmental associations and their role in intergovernmental lobbying. Local governments in federal systems have no constitutional right to co-legislate at higher levels of government, but higher level legislation directly impacts their tasks and resources and concomitantly their capabilities for action. In order to informally influence higher level legislation, they form intergovernmental associations. Those associations are nonhierarchical voluntary bodies. As a consequence, in order to lobby successfully, they must overcome inherent collective action problems and acquire the ability to act independently of their individual members' interests. Furthermore, those associations' success is assumed to be mediated by the position of local governments in the federal architecture, which varies across federal states. Based on those assumptions, the project aims at 1. first, measuring the degrees of collective agency of local intergovernmental associations and at explaining possible variation. The explanation of degrees of collective agency is based on the assumption that agency is a function of a) the resources of action a non-hierarchical collective actor disposes of and b) the autonomy it can gain in collective decision-making. 2. second, tracing the influence of local intergovernmental associations on federal legislation and thereby measuring the success of intergovernmental lobbying. By systematically comparing text documents from initial position papers through subsequent stages of legislation by means of discourse analysis, the extent to which the associations' interests were fed into legislation can be measured and compared among associations and legislative procedures; 3. third, formulating conditions for successful intergovernmental lobbying in various federal architectures by systematically comparing the associations' degree of agency on the one hand and their lobbying success on the other within and between federal states.

German Research Foundation

Duration: 01.02.2021 bis 31.01.2024

Funding amount: € 403.632,00

  Name Working area(s) Contact
Prof. Dr. Nathalie Behnke
Public Management, Public Policy
+49 6151 16-57352
S3|12 441
Jonas Maximilian Bernhard M.A.
Research Associate
Public Management, Public Policy
+49 6151 16-57360
S3|12 543
Till Jürgens M.A.
Research Associate
Public Management, Public Policy"
+49 6151 16-57432
S3|12 543