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Cross-Border Governance: Balancing Formalized and Less Formalized Co-Operations


  • Kristina Zumbusch

    () (Institute of Systemic Management and Public Governance, University of St. Gallen, Dufourstrasse 40a, St. Gallen 9000, Switzerland)

  • Roland Scherer

    () (Institute of Systemic Management and Public Governance, University of St. Gallen, Dufourstrasse 40a, St. Gallen 9000, Switzerland)


The paper analyses cross-border co-operation with regard to its degree of formalization. Herewith, the focus is not on single cross-border organizations, but on the encompassing governance systems in the respective regions. That means that the specific combination of differently organized cross-border arrangements is analyzed. Cross-border governance systems are facing multiple governance challenges which ask either for a certain degree of institutionalization or for more informal solutions. Based on an empirical comparison of the two experienced, but differently organized, cross-border regions in Europe the Lake Constance Region and the Upper-Rhine Region, the paper illustrates that the organizational variation of cross-border governance systems show specific patterns. From these findings, first arguments are deduced for balancing formalized and more informal co-operations in cross-border governance systems.

Suggested Citation

  • Kristina Zumbusch & Roland Scherer, 2015. "Cross-Border Governance: Balancing Formalized and Less Formalized Co-Operations," Social Sciences, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 4(3), pages 1-21, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:gam:jscscx:v:4:y:2015:i:3:p:499-519:d:52946

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Sohn, Christophe & Reitel, Bernard & Walther, Olivier, 2009. "Cross-border metropolitan integration in Europe (Luxembourg, Basel and Geneva)," IRISS Working Paper Series 2009-02, IRISS at CEPS/INSTEAD.
    2. Sabine Dörry & Olivier J Walther, 2015. "Contested ‘relational policy spaces’ in two European border regions," Environment and Planning A, Pion Ltd, London, vol. 47(2), pages 338-355, February.
    3. Carola Fricke, 2015. "Spatial Governance across Borders Revisited: Organizational Forms and Spatial Planning in Metropolitan Cross-border Regions," European Planning Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 23(5), pages 849-870, May.
    4. repec:cup:apsrev:v:97:y:2003:i:02:p:233-243_00 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Christophe Sohn & Bernard Reitel & Olivier Walther, 2009. "Cross-Border Metropolitan Integration in Europe: The Case of Luxembourg, Basel, and Geneva," Environment and Planning C, , vol. 27(5), pages 922-939, October.
    6. Antoine Decoville & Frédéric Durand & Christophe Sohn & Olivier Walther, 2013. "Comparing Cross-border Metropolitan Integration in Europe: Towards a Functional Typology," Journal of Borderlands Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 28(2), pages 221-237, August.
    7. WALTHER Olivier & REITEL Bernard, 2012. "Cross-border policy networks in the trinational region of Basel," LISER Working Paper Series 2012-26, LISER.
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    More about this item


    cross-border co-operation; cross-border governance; formalization of co-operations; Lake Constance Region; Upper Rhine region;

    JEL classification:

    • A - General Economics and Teaching
    • B - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology
    • N - Economic History
    • P - Economic Systems
    • Y80 - Miscellaneous Categories - - Related Disciplines - - - Related Disciplines
    • Z00 - Other Special Topics - - General - - - General


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