Linking National and International Administrations – The Effects of Coordination between Levels

For International Organizations (IOs), International Public Administrations (IPAs) constitute capacities to act. In formal terms, they generally exist independently from the national level regardless of the role of member-state governments in IOs. Nonetheless, they closely interact with national administrations in administrative policy making. First, they are often involved in the preparation of decisions negotiated in multilevel or intergovernmental processes. Second, they usually lack the power to implement decisions of their organisation on their own. Third, their tasks are often addressed to national governments or administrations. For these reasons, linkages between IPAs and national administrations should be considered a decisive feature of the practice of administration beyond the nation state.

The research project is part of the DFG Research Unit “International Public Administration – The Emergence and Development of Administrative Patterns and their Effects on International Policy-Making” (IPA) (FOR 1745). It builds on the project “Linking National and International Administrations – Structures and Coordination” (LINK).

In the first research phase of the Research Unit FOR 1745, the project LINK has elaborated the concept of multilevel administration. On this basis, we identified particular patterns of multilevel administration (MLA) in the EU and IOs and studied the dynamics of MLA based on comparative case studies of selected international administrations and their interactions with national administrations. In the second phase, the research will focus on the effects of multilevel administrative policy making on national public policy in the addressed domains. Based on the concept of administrative governance, which draws attention to the strategic operation of IPAs in dealing with opportunities and constraints when aiming at specific policy outcomes, we intend to find out how specific patterns of coordination (i.e., those we identified in the first phase as particularly relevant) are applied for fulfilling tasks, how processes of coordination evolving in these patterns work, which additional conditions affect their operation, and whether and why coordination succeeds or fails.


- Benz, Arthur, 2023: Only words? Coordination and Power in Multilevel Administration beyond the State, in: Christoph Knill, Yves Steinebach (eds.), International Public Administrations in Global Policy: Concepts, Theories, and Empirical Findings, London: Routledge, 220-239.

- Corcaci, Andreas, 2022: The dynamics of multilevel administration. Coordination processes between national, supra- and international administrations in energy policy’; Zeitschrift für Politikwissenschaft, online:

- Sebastian Widmuch, 2021: Verwaltungskoordination in der internationalen Energiepolitik. Effektivität und Machtstrukturen, Baden-Baden: Nomos

- Benz, Arthur, 2019: Verwaltung als Mehrebenensystem, in: Sylvia Veit, Christoph Reichard, Göttrik Wewer (Hrsg.), Handbuch zur Verwaltungsreform, Wiesbaden: Springer VS (5. Aufl.), 87-98.

Funding institution: Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG)

Funding period: 01.04.2017 – 31.03.2020

  Name Working area(s) Contact
Emeriti / Retired
Prof. Dr. Arthur Benz
Retired Professor
Comparative Politics and German Government
Academic staff
Timo Alexander Richter M.A.
Research Associate | Doctoral Candidate
International Relations
+49 6151 16-57341
S3|12 533
Past employees
Sebastian Widmuch M.A.
Research Associate | Doctoral Candidate
Political System of Germany and Comparative Government