Elisabetta Mocca


European cities have built cooperative relations through transnational municipal networks (TMNs). Most of the dedicated literature has relied on the multi-level governance (MLG) framework, claiming that the establishment of TMNs has been favoured by the multi-tier and multi-actor system of governance developed within the European Union. While MLG can help to illustrate the characteristics and functions of TMNs, it does not enable to explain the engagement of European cities in these organisations. This article therefore identifies and discusses the analytical and operational limitations of the MLG approach. It is claimed that the MLG framework does not provide a suitable analytical approach to shed light on the economic, political and institutional drivers of the participation of European cities in TMNs. By way of contrast, an urban approach hinging on the urban level may address the MLG’s analytical and empirical shortcomings.


Article Keywords

Multi-level governance, Transnational municipal networks, European Union, Local government

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