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New Governance in the European Union: A Theoretical Perspective


  • Burkard Eberlein
  • Dieter Kerwer


New modes of governance based on voluntary performance standards, rather than compulsory regulation, have gained salience in the European Union (EU). Can these new modes of governance offer a credible solution to the current challenges faced by EU policy-making? In this article, we assess the potential of new governance in the light of the theory of democratic experimentalism. This theoretical perspective suggests, first, that co-ordination by voluntary performance standards can lead to more effective rules and more opportunities for political participation; second, that the scope of this mode of governance in the EU is not confined to cases which are explicitly flagged as new governance; and third, that one of the main problems is how a voluntary mode of governance can coexist with compulsory regulation. Copyright Blackwell Publishing Ltd 2004.

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  • Burkard Eberlein & Dieter Kerwer, 2004. "New Governance in the European Union: A Theoretical Perspective," Journal of Common Market Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 42(1), pages 121-142, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:jcmkts:v:42:y:2004:i:1:p:121-142

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. David M. Trubek & James Mosher, 2001. "New Governance, EU Employment Policy, and the European Social Model," Jean Monnet Working Papers 15, Jean Monnet Chair.
    2. Scharpf, Fritz W., 2002. "The European Social Model: Coping with the challenges of diversity," MPIfG Working Paper 02/8, Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies.
    3. Scharpf, Fritz W., 2001. "European governance: Common concerns vs. the challenge of diversity," MPIfG Working Paper 01/6, Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies.
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    Cited by:

    1. Jan Lepoutre & Nikolay Dentchev & Aimé Heene, 2007. "Dealing With Uncertainties When Governing CSR Policies," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 73(4), pages 391-408, July.
    2. Simon Fink, 2013. "Policy Convergence with or without the European Union: The Interaction of Policy Success, EU Membership and Policy Convergence," Journal of Common Market Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 51(4), pages 631-648, July.
    3. Annelise Riles, 2013. "Is New Governance the Ideal Architecture for Global Financial Regulation?," IMES Discussion Paper Series 13-E-01, Institute for Monetary and Economic Studies, Bank of Japan.
    4. repec:kap:policy:v:50:y:2017:i:2:d:10.1007_s11077-016-9267-8 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Jun Zhang, 2008. "EU in ASEM: its role in framing inter-regional cooperation with East Asian countries," Asia Europe Journal, Springer, vol. 6(3), pages 487-505, November.
    6. Weiqing Song, 2011. "Open method of coordination and the gloomy future of social Europe," Asia Europe Journal, Springer, vol. 9(1), pages 13-27, November.
    7. Katharina Zimmermann, 2016. "Local Responses to the European Social Fund: A Cross-City Comparison of Usage and Change," Journal of Common Market Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 54(6), pages 1465-1484, November.
    8. Milena Büchs, 2008. "How Legitimate is the Open Method of Co-ordination?," Journal of Common Market Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 46, pages 765-786, September.
    9. Fierlbeck, Katherine, 2014. "The changing contours of experimental governance in European health care," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 108(C), pages 89-96.
    10. Edwards, Peter & Kleinschmit, Daniela, 2013. "Towards a European forest policy — Conflicting courses," Forest Policy and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(C), pages 87-93.
    11. Claudio M. Radaelli & Ulrike S. Kraemer, 2008. "Governance Areas in EU Direct Tax Policy," Journal of Common Market Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 46, pages 315-336, March.
    12. Martin Hering & Michael Kpessa, 2008. "The Integration of Occupational Pension Policies: Lessons for Canada," Canadian Public Policy, University of Toronto Press, vol. 34(s1), pages 137-154, November.
    13. Citi, Manuele & Rhodes, Martin, 2007. "New Modes of Governance in the EU: Common Objectives versus National Preferences," European Governance Papers (EUROGOV) 1, CONNEX and EUROGOV networks.
    14. repec:bla:jcmkts:v:55:y:2017:i:2:p:294-311 is not listed on IDEAS
    15. Hartlapp, Miriam, 2006. "Über Politiklernen lernen: Überlegungen zur Europäischen Beschäftigungsstrategie," Discussion Papers, Research Unit: Labor Market Policy and Employment SP I 2006-114, Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB).
    16. Kerber, Wolfgang & Eckardt, Martina, 2005. "Policy learning in Europe: The 'open method of coordination' and laboratory federalism," Thuenen-Series of Applied Economic Theory 48, University of Rostock, Institute of Economics.

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