Hierarchy and compromise in English and German municipal development projects

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Publication details

DateUnpublished - 2014
Original languageEnglish


This paper draws on over 30 fieldwork interviews to compare the governance of urban development projects in the “twin towns” of Newcastle (England) and Gelsenkirchen (Germany). It finds that Gelsenkirchen has been able to adopt a more hierarchical approach to stipulating the sustainability criteria of new developments, whereas Newcastle has had to work more closely with other partners and seek greater compromises in building design.These different approaches map on to the characteristic “policy styles” associated with England and Germany (Richardson, 1982) and are shaped by the different institutional contexts within which local government operates in each context (Type II and Type I multi-level governance respectively (Hooghe and Marks, 2003)). Various different organisations have had some responsibility for Science Central, the development project in Newcastle, which means the council has to work horizontally to have the capacity to implement its policy objectives. In contrast, Gelsenkirchen has kept the management of its Ebertstrasse redevelopment in-house and thereby been able to exercise hierarchicalauthority over the project to ensure it contains ambitious sustainability features.

Bibliographical note

Paper presented at the annual conference of the European Consortium for Political Research in Glasgow

    Research areas

  • local governance, Germany, England, climate change, policy-making

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