Skip to main content

Multi-Level Governance

Go Search
New Atlas
Atlas, A-Z
Atlas Maps
MPP/MPA Programs
Core Topics
Illustrative Courses
Topic Encyclopedia
Concept Dictionary
Career Tips
Best Practices Project

Applying an Implementation Lens
Balanced Scorecard as a Strategy for Performance Improvement
Building Coalitions
Bureaucratic Politics, Organizational Design and Decision-Making
Cognitive Biases
Defining Policy Problems and Policy Making Under Pressure
Developing Networks for Improvement
Efficiency, Effectiveness, and Instrument Choice
Financing and Fundraising in the Third Sector
Implementation and Policy
Implementation and Policy
Implementation and Risk
Implementation and the Budget Context
Implementation Environment
Implementing through Markets
Implementing with Partners
Improving Organizational Performance Through Competition
Learning as a Performance Strategy
Leveraging Diversity
Managing a Global Team
Managing Conflict
Managing Partnerships: Multi-Party Arrangements
Managing Risk: The “New” Way Forward in Managing?
Mission and Strategy
Models of Policy Making
Modernization of Public Sector Organizations
Multi-Level Governance
Network Assessment and Analysis
Operations and Marketing Strategy
Organizational Alignment
Organizational Behaviour
Organizational Culture
Organizational Performance and Management Reform
Organizing for Collaboration and Partnership
Organizing for Performance
Overview of Recent Trends in Public Administration
Performance Information as a Management Tool
Policy Analysis and Contemporary Governance
Policy Design and Instrument Choice
Policy Evaluation
Public Services in the Age of Restraint - new public service delivery models and the quest to do better with less
Public-Private Partnerships
Recent Trends from Comparative Public Administration
Rules vs. Discretion
The Crisis of “Governability” (1970s) and its Effects
The Meaning of Strategy in Public Management
The Role of Leadership in Strategy and Implementation
The Role of the Board and Strategic Governance in Third Sector Organizations
The Shift to Public Governance
Theories of Human Motivation and Decision Making: Rational Choice
Working in Teams


Multi-Level Governance

This topic explores the complexity of multi-level governance. It examines how the institutions of multi-level governance shape policy-making. It explores the philosophical underpinnings, evolution, and political landscapes of multi-level governance around the world (George Washington PPPA 6000), including federalism in Canada and the United States, and the supranational European Union.

Important elements include federal-provincial relations, municipal governance, and indigenous self-government. The concepts of New Public Governance and New Political Governance can also inform effective multi-level governance (Toronto PPG 1000H).

Particularly with supranational governments like the European Union, this topic examines legitimacy and leadership, future integration, and the international scope of democracy (Harvard DPI-431).

Topic Learning Outcome: Students will be able to clearly explain the major different types of multi-level governance, and will understand the advantages and challenges presented by multi-level governance arrangements.

Core Concepts associated with this Topic: Multi-Level Governance

Recommended Reading

Carleton PADM 5117 Public Sector Management and the Canadian Political System

Leo, Christopher. “Multi-Level Governance and Ideological Rigidity:  The Failure of Deep Federalism,” Canadian Journal of Political  Science, 42:1 (2009), 93 - 116.

Toronto PPG 1000H Governance and Institutions

Herman Bakvis, Gerald Baier, and Douglas Brown. 2009. Contested Federalism: Certainty and Ambiguity in the Canadian Federation. Toronto: Oxford U.P.

Rocher, François and Miriam Smith. 2003. “The Four Dimensions of Canadian Federalism.” In New Trends in Canadian Federalism. 2nd ed. Eds. François Rocher and Miriam Smith. Peterborough: Broadview UP: 21-44.

Gibbons, Roger, Antonia Maioni and Janice Gross Stein. 2006. Canada by Picasso: The Faces of Federalism. Ottawa: The Conference Board of Canada. Essays by Gibbons and Stein.

Papillon, Martin. 2009. “The (Re)Emergence of Aboriginal Governments.” In Canadian Politics. 5th ed. Eds. James Bickerton and Alain-G Gagnon. Toronto: Oxford UP: 179-196.

 George Washington PPPA 6000 Cross-Sector Collaboration in the U.S. Federal System

Syllabus Section: Overview of the US federal structure

Kettl, D. (2006). Managing boundaries in American administration: The collaboration imperative. Public Administration Review, 66, 10-19.

Federalist No. 10:

Federalist No. 51:

Federalist No. 70:

Anti-federalist paper No. 1 by Brutus:

Patrick Henry’s speech:

Marbury v. Madison (1803)

McCulloch v. Maryland (1806)

Gibbons v. Ogden (1824)

Harvard DPI-431 Global Europe in the 21st Century: Democracy, Policy, and Governance

Syllabus Section: Intergovernmentalism at work: The Council of Ministers and the European Council

Lewis, Jeffrey. "The Council of the E.U. and the European Council." Chapter 11 in Michelle Cini et al. European Union Politics, Oxford U.P., 2013, fourth edition.

Lewis, Jeffrey. "Strategic Bargaining, Norms and Deliberation." Chapter 9 in D. Naurin and Hellen Wallace, Unveiling the Council of the European Union. Palgrave McMillan. 2010. pp. 165-184.

Wallace, Helen. "Exercising Power and Influence in the E.U.: The Role of Member States" in S. Boulmer and Christian Lequesne, The Member States of the European Union. Oxford University Press. 2005.

Sample Assessment Questions:

1.) What are supranational governance institutions? Please provide two examples.

2.) The European Union has been identified by some experts as representing a novel type of multi-level governance. Discuss these claims in a 1-2 page paper.

3.) What is the role of municipalities in Canadian multi-level governance arrangements? Discuss in a short 1-2 page paper that makes reference to the relationships between large municipal governments and the province in which they are located as well as the federal government.

Page created by Sean Goertzen on and Ben Eisen, last updated April 25, 2015


Important Notices
© University of Toronto 2008
School of Public Policy and Governance