Differentiation at the local level: An overview of sub-national authority networks in the EU

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    Transnational networks of subnational authorities are an established and growing phenomenon in Europe, where they perform a number of (soft) governance functions for their membership, often in direct connection with European Union (EU) institutions. This chapter examines networks from the angle of institutional differentiation – an inherent trait of these organizations – in order to expand the analysis of this phenomenon beyond its state-centric confines. The chapter also adds to the study of (differentiated) integration more traditionally defined, both by analogy and insofar as networks are part and parcel of the EU’s system of multilevel governance. Building on original empirical data, we identify three dimensions of differentiation generated by networks – “insider-outsider”, “compound” and “multilevel” differentiation – and discuss their implications for the efficiency, effectiveness and legitimacy of networks’ actions. Based on our analysis, we also sketch some avenues for future research connecting the national and subnational dimensions of differentiation in Europe.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationThe Routledge Handbook of Differentiation in the European Union
    EditorsBenjamin Leruth, Stefan Gänzle, Jarle Trondal
    Number of pages16
    ISBN (Electronic)9780429054136
    ISBN (Print)9780367149659
    Publication statusPublished - 2022

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