6th Framework Programme (2002-2006)
 
 
 
Home > New Modes of Governance Project >

Research


Documents: New Modes of Governance in the Shadow of Hierarchy
 

Voluntary Environmental Agreements
Adrienne Héritier
NEWGOV Policy Brief no. 09, Winter 2007/2008
download document

Self-Regulation by Associations: Collective Action Problems in European Environmental Regulation
Adrienne Héritier and Sandra Eckert
How and to what effect do firms coordinate their actions in order to deal with the negative external effects of productive activity? Under which conditions do firm associations engage in environmental self-regulation and what kind of governance devices do they develop in order to tackle the specific regulatory challenges at stake? Is the ‘shadow of hierarchy’, the credible threat of legislation, executive intervention or court rulings, a necessary condition for associative action to emerge? Or is it only necessary if a redistributive problem is at stake? These are the questions discussed in this article. We will first develop the theoretical argument based on economic institutionalism, derive hypotheses and then submit the propositions to a first empirical assessment of associative self-regulation on waste recycling in the plastic and paper industry. Draft version submitted for review; final version to be published in a special issue of West European Politics (4/2009), edited by Waltraud Schelkle.
document only available in intranet section

Report on Energy Regulation II: Case Study Analysis
Adrienne Héritier and Sandra Eckert
In this work package we are presenting preliminary empirical findings of our research on energy regulation. As laid out in the previous deliverable D05/06, we are focussing on cross-border cooperation among European Transmission System Operators (TSOs). Not only do TSOs play a crucial role in the creation of an Internal Energy Market, TSO governance in Europe also is characterised by strong elements of self- or private regulation and hence is interesting from the NEWGOV perspective. During the reporting period, we have conducted 22 structured interviews with officials and stakeholders at the European and national level, out of which 7 with TSO representatives, 6 with regulators/ former regulators, 4 with governmental actors (EU and national) and 5 with other stakeholders. This report summarises our provisional empirical findings we have obtained through analysing documents and secondary literature, and from interviewing. The deliverable lays out the principal features of sectoral governance at the European level (chapter 1), presents two cases of TSO cooperation in detail (chapter 2), discusses initiatives in the Central Western Region (chapter 3) and finally conceptualises the role of TSOs from a NEWGOV perspective (chapter 4).
document only available in intranet section

European Energy Regulation I: Research Questions and Empirical Mapping
Adrienne Héritier and Sandra Eckert
In this work package, we are investigating a new policy field which is energy policy. The objective is to identify and evaluate the role new modes of governance play in the field of energy regulation. Given we deal with the governance of a multi-faceted policy which, at a more general level, has been well-researched by political scientists, it is important to narrow down the empirical field of investigation. Following up on our NEWGOV case studies on industry self-regulation in the field of environment, we are particularly interested in elements of private regulation. Thematically, we suggest to look at two interrelated cases, which are cross-border tariffication and interconnection capacity. Actor-wise, specific attention will be paid to Transmission System Operators (TSOs). This first deliverable consists of two parts: in a first part we will set out our field of research interest and formulate the major research questions. In doing so, we will explain why it is not of much added value to study regulatory networks as originally envisaged. In the second part we will engage in an empirical mapping exercise. We will present the set of actors which needs to be taken into account when studying European energy regulation and will situate TSOs in this context. Then we shortly present the two cases we intend to study.
document only available in intranet section

New Modes of Governance in the Shadow of Hierarchy: Self-Regulation by Industry in Europe
Adrienne Héritier and Sandra Eckert
In technically complex areas, political actors increasingly rely on private actors to shape pub-lic policy. This is due to the greater expertise of the private actors, mostly industry. This arti-cle theorizes and empirically investigates the conditions under which self-regulation by indus-try emerges in environmental policy at the European level and asks how effective it is. Is ‘a shadow of hierarchy’ needed to ensure the emergence and effectiveness of voluntary agree-ments? We show that the willingness to engage in self-regulation is prompted by a regulatory threat with governmental action. Once legislation has been pre-empted, environmental self-regulation is implemented under a weak ‘shadow of hierarchy’. We identify the causes of this ‘weak’ control and explain the differential performance in the two sectors on the basis of dif-ferent market incentives.
document only available in intranet section

Report on “Voluntary Environmental Agreements” Case 2 (Paper)
Adrienne Héritier
This report focuses again on voluntary environmental agreements (VEAs). It presents the results of empirical research on the second case study - self-regulation of the European paper industry. Following-up on D03, we have conducted a number of additional interviews on our case study on PVC, the results of which are included in this report. Furthermore, we discuss some recent regulatory developments in European environmental policy where VEAs are promoted as a policy tool. The deliverable contains the following elements: firstly, a data report summarising insights gained from interviews conducted; secondly, generic questionnaires to indicate the type of questions addressed during the interviews; thirdly and finally, some preliminary conclusions which can be drawn with respect to our working hypotheses. We conclude from our findings that VEAs most likely are motivated by a background legislative threat. In the cases studied, the initial development leading to the industry’s self-regulation, clearly occurred in the shadow of the legislative threat. On the effectiveness of self-regulation, we have found that such a background legislative threat needs to be sustained over time in order to enhance the efficacy of voluntary action. If the link between governance and government becomes too weak, this has negative consequences for policy performance. We have further found out that monitoring is not a very promising avenue to boost efficacy of VEAs. Under pure self-regulation, outside actors lack the necessary instruments to effectively control industry. In addition, there are constraints in terms of expertise and resources which hinder effective monitoring. With respect to VEAs at Community level more generally, we find a fundamental split between Commission DGs on what the merits of this new mode are. This disagreement is an obstacle to the development of a coherent European policy on VEAs. Instead, one encounters contradicting tendencies of privileging either self-regulation or legislation, depending on which DG takes the lead on an issue.
document only available in intranet section

Report on 2nd Round of Empirical Research on Case 1 PVC Environmental Issues
Adrienne Héritier and Sandra Eckert
This third deliverable of the NEWGOV project five ‘New Modes of Governance in the Shadow of Hierarchy’ presents the results of our second round of empirical research for case 1, the PVC Environmental Issues. It consists of three elements: a data report on the empirical knowledge we have acquired so far through document analysis and interviewing; a finalised questionnaire for the case study; some preliminary conclusions on the case from both, a practical-procedural perspective and from a theoretical-argumentative perspective: we can now draw some practical conclusions as to how we intend to proceed with our research on this case; and some preliminary conclusions on our working hypotheses. We have concluded from this empirical research that the likeliness of legislation to be adopted has considerably decreased over time. There was a strong legislative threat when voluntary action was adopted, but very soon after the commitment has been implemented, the adoption of legislative measures became very unlikely. From the evidence we have gathered, we deduce that the existence of a new mode, i.e. the industry voluntary commitment, is one factor to account for this process; yet we argue that there are other, additional factors, which explain that the shadow of hierarchy has become so weak over time: 1. actor’s preferences 2. restricted resources 3. the salience of the PVC issue.
document only available in intranet section

Report on the 1st Round of Empirical Research
Adrienne Héritier and Sandra Eckert
This second phase of our research was exploratory in nature. For each of the policy fields under investigation, we have conducted a first round of empirical research. This has helped us confront our theoretical assumptions and hypotheses with empirical insights and refine our hypotheses and generate new hypotheses. In the following report, we summarise and analyse the exploratory interviews. We are now in position to draw a provisional picture of the cases to be studied and to develop the empirical means to investigate them. As a result, we present a case-specific questionnaire and guiding principles for the second round of empirical research. The empirical output has helped us in accumulating knowledge on the three empirical cases and in reviewing our research agenda. In general, the practitioners’ feed-back to our research was positive and the response rate to interview requests was very good. We have made considerable progress with our research on the Internal Electricity Market (IEM) and Services of General Interest (SGIs). We have also gained some first empirical insights into the functioning of the voluntary commitment on PVC environmental issues.
document only available in intranet section

State of the Art Review on the OMC, Voluntary Accords and Regulatory Networks
Adrienne Héritier
This second part of our first deliverable (D01b) presents a state of the art review on the three types of new modes of governance we intend to look at in our project, namely the open method of co-ordination, voluntary accords and regulatory networks. For each of them, we give an overview of the theoretic discussion and then examine its relevance for our research. The main theoretic reference points for our analysis are political transaction cost theory, principal-agent theory and political science policy analysis. To inform our considerations empirically, we include a first sketch of our three case studies, i.e. the OMC on public services, voluntary accords on PVC hazardous waste and regulatory networks on energy. These cases represent very different problems for European policy coordination, with different paths of solution chosen each time. For all of them, their procedural functioning is still developing and therefore subject to considerable change. Referring to the ‘Four E’s’ identified in the common scientific statement of the Integrated Project, we focus on the execution and evaluation of new steering methods, but our research will also give insights into their short-term evolution and, in the case of the very recent development of the OMC on public services, even into the emergence of new modes of governance.
document only available in intranet section

Draft Theoretical Chapter
Adrienne Héritier
This first part of our first deliverable (D01a) presents the main theoretical considerations and some preliminary hypotheses which will guide our empirical work. Based on political transaction cost theory, principal-agent theory and political science policy analysis, claims are developed regarding the political institutional capacity as well as the instrumental policy effectiveness of the new modes of governance in different policy areas. It states that, for assessing the political efficiency of new modes, it will be necessary to examine whether the mechanisms advocated by these theories come to bear if new modes are applied. This, it is further argued, will depend on the particular policy problem dealt with. In conclusion, we present our two main hypotheses: First, we identify those policy problems (distributive, coordinative and network goods’ problems, diverse highly complex/ uncertain or discrete problems) where the new modes of governance have more political efficiency compared to those where this is not the case (redistributive, PD problems and institutionally deeply entrenched policies). Second, we argue that linking new modes of governance with ‘hierarchy’ in the latter case may secure greater political efficiency.
document only available in intranet section

Top

Page updated: 28/07/08

Co-ordinated by the European University Institute