Trust and Transparency in Multi-Level Systems: The German Case

Wednesday, July 12, 2017
Gilbert Scott Building - G466 (University of Glasgow)
Dominic Heinz , University of Hannover
How do trust and transparency interact in the German multi-level system? Questions about the relationship between trust, transparency and multi-level governance have been neglected in German Politics. Institutional debates have been framed in terms of cooperative federalism versus competitive federalism, the joint decision-making trap and the asymmetrical impact of Europeanisation on the distribution of competencies within the German federal system. Policy debates have been framed in terms of a strong comparative trend that sees the ‘migration’ of competencies in multilevel systems throughout Europe.  In the context of a strong legal culture, managerial accountability has been framed much less in terms of the theory or praxeology of new public management than in countries such as the UK; as a consequence, institutional design has been less centred on ‘transparent’ instruments such as agencies.  If questions of trust and transparency have been eluded, however, German studies to date have focused mainly on questions of direct democracy and citizen participation, and their consequences for the German multi-level governance system.  The paper examines issues of trust and transparency from the particular focus point of co-production, direct democracy and citizen participation. How do actors define trust and transparency? Can practices of co-production enhance trust in the political system?  Taking as a starting point the länd of Hesse, the paper delivers interim findings from an interview panel with a purposive sample of political, administrative and socio-economic actors and discusses these findings are discussed in the context of macro-level survey data (from the European Values survey in particular)
  • ces_paper.pdf (152.5 kB)