The team of this working group investigates, how administrations shape policy-making. One focus is the practice of multi-level governance, in the sense of relations of coordination, of negotiation and of in part hierarchical interaction between administrations at different levels of government and of different territorial units. This perspective guides our research on intergovernmental relations in federal states – among sub-state units, among local authorities as well as in vertical direction across levels (Nathalie Behnke); on fiscal surveillance between sub-state units and their local authorities (Christian Person); and on coordination of sustainable local development policies between cities, municipalities, counties and the sub-state (Svenja Bauer-Blaschkowski).

A second focus is on taxes and public finance, in particular on fiscal relations in multilevel states; on fiscal inequalities and equalization systems of tax revenues of sub-states and local authorities; and on strategies of political governance by way of grants-in-aid.

A third focus is on motivation and strategic action of administrative elites. How clearly are the spheres of politics and administration demarcated, where do they overlap and how is this mirrored in career paths, role perceptions and everyday work of leading public officials? And how (to which extent and along which paths) can the administrative elite influence executive decision-making?

Ongoing research projects

Name Term Funding Coordinator / participation
Collective action problems and influence of local intergovernmental association 02/2021-01-2024 German Research Foundation Prof. Behnke/Bernhard
Covid regulations in German federalism seit 03/2020 No external funding Prof. Behnke/Dr. Person/Jürgens/Kupfer/Reining/Zegowitz
Thematic Focus: Fiscal Federalism in Germany 2019-2022 No external funding Prof. Behnke
Name Term Funding Coordinator / participation
Developing and strengthening the public health service Thuringia Ministry of Work, Social Policy, Health, Women and Family (TMASGFF) Prof. Behnke
Executive Coordination in multi-level structures Seed funding University of Konstanz Prof. Behnke
Minority Accommodation in Divided Socieites Cluster of excellence of the University of Konstanz Prof. Behnke
Patterns of constitutional reform of federal structures German Research Foundation Prof. Behnke
A comparative analysis of the redistributive and incentive effects of fiscal equalization schemes (PhD project) 2018 no external funding Dr. Person
State supervision of local government finances 2018 Bertelsmann Foundation, Gütersloh Dr. Person
Biographies of State Secretaries 2019-2021 No external funding Prof. Behnke
Local Public Finance in Europe. A regulatory perspective 2020 Bertelsmann Foundation, Gütersloh Dr. Person