logo-eui RSCAS

Indirect Governance: preliminary theory and application to regional integration

29 October 2015 @ 11:00 am – 1:00 pm Europe/Rome Timezone
Seminar room 4, Badia Fiesolana
Via della Badia dei Roccettini
50014 Fiesole FI
Valentina Bettin

Speaker: Philip Genschel

Discussant: Lora Viola


Governing is not a one-person job. Governors – national, international and private – usually work with or through third party intermediaries because they lack key capabilities to achieve policy goals directly and single-handedly. Governing indirectly through intermediaries would be easy, if intermediaries with the right capabilities and compatible goals were readily available. Often however, intermediaries are either unavailable or, if available, lack the required capabilities or pursue conflicting policy goals. One generic problem facing any governor is therefore to organize indirect governance relationships that minimize the risk of policy failures through incapable or incompatible intermediaries. Four basic solutions to this problem have been discussed in the literature, though not in a unified fashion: delegation, co-optation, orchestration, and trusteeship relations. We proposed a general theory of indirect governance that integrates these four modes. We discussed the comparative statics: under what conditions will governors likely opt for which mode? And we explored the dynamics: how does each mode, once selected, feedbacked to reshape the capabilities and policy goals of the intermediaries, perhaps transforming the underlying problems of indirect governance? We drew on a wide range of examples from international politics to illustrate our argument.