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date: 18 November 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Originally emerging from the field of EU studies, the notion and approach of multi-level governance (MLG) have progressively been transferred to a variety of other subfields. This chapter argues that three particularities characterize the way in which French political scientists have dealt with governance and MLG. First, the notion of governance has not had great success since the existing notion of government has long been used in a sociological and relational way to describe processes and outcomes rather than merely executive institutions. Second, French scholars who adopted the notion quickly departed from the early definition of governance as opposed to government, institutions, or coercion. Third, the use of governance and MLG helped to consolidate a French way of doing political science that was based on a reluctance toward theoretical hastiness, a sensitivity to varieties of situations and processes in time and space, and a shared constructivist stance.

Keywords: center–periphery relations, governance, multi-level governance, local government, public policies, regions, urban politics

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