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On 12 April 2016, The ARENA Centre for European Studies at the University of Oslo hosted the second TARN lecture as part of the ARENA Tuesday Seminar series. Prof. Dr. Arthur Benz from Technische Universität Darmstadt discussed the role of administration in multilevel governance, looking at the interaction and coordination between the European and member state levels. Participants from ARENA and other units at the University of Oslo’s Faculty of Social Sciences contributed to an hour of lively discussion after Dr. Benz had given his presentation.

Dr. Benz’s point of departure was that the concept of multi-level governance adds a  crucial dimension to the debate about political decision making by conceptualising policy coordination across territorial levels of government. While research on European governance has generated a differentiated analytical concept to understand the varieties of co-ordination, it has not clarified the particular role of administration, although its relevance is apparent. Research on administration in the European context has considered multi-level relations between the administrations of the European Union and its member states, but failed to cover the distinct types of interaction.

In view of this state of research, Dr. Benz in his lecture titled ‘Unravelling multi-level administration: patterns and dynamics of administrative co-ordination in European Governance’ emphasised the distinct features of multi-level administration and advanced the concept towards an appropriate analytical framework. By unravelling the particular role and the distinct modes of administrative interaction and patterns of co-ordination in European governance, Dr. Benz argued that the analytical framework should pave the way for a focused research agenda linking approaches to multilevel governance and public administration in the European and international context.

About Arthur Benz

Arthur Benz is Professor for Political Science at the Technische Universität Darmstadt. His research interests include multi-level governance and federalism, as well as the regionalisation, modernisation and constitutional change of states. Dr. Benz is currently director of the project ‘Linking National and International Administrations – Structures and Coordination’, funded by the German Research Foundation (2014-2017).


12 April 2016: TARN lecture in Oslo