The overall scientific aim was to consolidate, upgrade and communicate the state of the art in theories, methodologies and insights concerning governance in Europe.
This cluster focussed on the analytic questions of 'Emergence and Evolution', by comparing the emergence and evolution of governing modes across policy fields with the aim of developing a differentiated genealogy.
The process of how governing modes (GMs) in the European Union come into being and evolve over time has long been insufficiently understood, especially with regard to new modes without hard legislation. Comprehensive and reliable knowledge about the dynamics and factors behind the emergence and evolution of governing modes is needed to help political actors to respond successfully to both old and new challenges by adapting the different ways how the European Union is governed. The 'Emergence and Evolution' cluster within NEWGOV adopted a systematic comparative approach to close this research gap. It studied how different modes of governance emerge and evolve in interdependence of each other and across a range of selected policy fields. The comprehensive approach towards governing modes started from the observation of various links, overlaps and interdependencies between the emergence and evolution of traditional and 'new' governing modes. The cluster aimed at providing an overarching analytical framework to the study of governing modes to build bridges between experts specialising in specific policy fields. In sum, the scientific objective of the research institutions and scientists involved in this cluster was to draw on, synthesise and develop theoretical approaches of sociology, economics and law to:
- map, measure and classify governing modes and their transformations according to jointly defined criteria and indicators. On the basis of our findings, a database has been drawn up that classifies and measures governing modes across several dimensions, both quantitative and qualitative.
- explain why and under what circumstances and conditions new governing modes emerge. We produced papers for peer reviewed journals not only to answer these questions for the different policy areas but to take these findings to draw conclusions on which theoretical approach works best and/or how these approaches can be combined and synthesised.
- to identify common patterns and theorise about how they interact and evolve to form new governing mixes and macro-systems; Do governing modes in the European Union converge, 'soften' or become ever more hybrid and deliberative over time? The findings of this area of the project also relied on the comparative analysis of different governing modes to test three theses about the evolution of governing modes, which will be elaborated in a tightly edited research monograph (forthcoming).
- find criteria and parameters by which the emergence and evolution of new modes of governance may be evaluated in a comprehensive way and against the background of different theoretical and conceptual approaches. Evaluation took place in a cross-disciplinary, a cross-national and a cross-sectoral perspective. It was aimed to strike an overall balance in academic as well as practical terms on the major findings within the project and the cluster.
The primary methodology was comparative by focusing on the emergence, evolution and transformation of different governing modes over time, across and within policy sectors, and levels of governance. Wessels' team provided an umbrella for the whole project, providing a framework for the analysis of a range of policy areas under both 'old' and 'new' governing modes across the multiples levels of the European polity. Integrated within that framework were the political analysis of European integration perspective of Laffan and the legal perspectives of Griller-Peters and the international relations perspective - linked to theories of international bargaining - by Risse. The selection was based on a comprehensive approach, covering all three pillars of EU problem-solving. Some members of the cluster focussed mainly on horizontal issues relating to OMC as an innovative governing mode, classifying and mapping, as well as exploring the legal dimension of changes in governance. The cluster members partners spanned a broad range of governing modes ranging from hierarchical decision-making and supranational law, over hard co-ordination to the soft, involving voluntary agreement between public and private actors outside of the legal framework of the European treaties. Studies included also the use of the Convention Method and the IGC as two modes of pre-treaty governance and constitutionalisation