Multilevel Governance and Resource Exchange:
Votes, Budgets, Information
National Research University Higher School of Economics. St. Petersburg, Russia, email@example.com_id: 551932 | ORCID: 0000-0002-0058-8583 | RESEARCHER_ID: L-5628-2015
National Research University Higher School of Economics. St. Petersburg, Russia, firstname.lastname@example.org_id: 551934 | ORCID: 0000-0003-2032-3205 | RESEARCHER_ID: L-7018-2015
National Research University Higher School of Economics. St. Petersburg, Russia, email@example.comORCID: 0000-0003-4675-5401 | RESEARCHER_ID: ABH-2890-2020
The research leading to these results has received funding from the Basic Research Program at the National Research University Higher School of Economics in 2020.
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The paper reviews the most recent findings in multilevel governance and multilevel political systems. Multilevel governance is defined here as how major power resources are distributed (and the pattern of exchange thereof) amongst autonomous centers of power (governments) situated at different levels within the multilevel structure. Following the trend laid down by Tulia Falleti for research in federalism and decentralization, we distinguish between three types of resources: budgets (the monetary resources pertaining to fiscal financial flows), information (mostly provided from the lower levels of government to the upper ones), and legitimacy (mostly the electoral and clientelist support supplied by governments on different levels to each other during elections). The article reveals the general trends within this research stream and outlines existent gaps in our understanding of how particular types of resources are exchanged and distributed between different levels of government in multilevel governance. The first two sections provide a brief overview of the development of empirical research on federalism and multi-tiered systems, and explicate the rationale for studying the distribution of resources between governments at different levels of power. Researching such resource exchange in the short run and the patterns of such exchanges in the long term are two different research agendas. In particular, paying closer attention to the long-term sustainable patterns of resource exchange may serve as an explanation for higher or lower resilience in multilevel governance structures. Modeling such an exchange may therefore serve as grounds for an endogenous theory of multilevel and federal governance. The second part of the paper provides a more detailed review of the most recent research into particular types of resources and their exchange between levels of government. We describe the “natural” asymmetries in such resource distributions between levels. Finally, the conclusion highlights the existent gaps and sets up the agenda for future research.
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