Beyond a logic of effectiveness: Horizontal coordination, democratic legitimacy and accountability

Lieberherr, Eva; Ingold, Karin (3 July 2015). Beyond a logic of effectiveness: Horizontal coordination, democratic legitimacy and accountability. In: 2nd International Conference on Public Policy (ICPP). Milan, Italy. 01.07.-04.07.2015.

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Horizontal coordination, where actors join together to accomplish a common task, has been applauded for its output legitimacy. However, such processes often face challenges due to opposition from local actors who raise concerns about democratic legitimacy and accountability. Moving beyond a logic of effectiveness, we aim to show how and why other forms of legitimacy such as input and throughput dimensions also affect horizontal coordination, in addition to output criteria. Beyond the assumed positive relationship between coordination and effectiveness, we additionally expect horizontal coordination to be (a) impeded by local actors' fear of losing democratic legitimacy; and (b) fostered by accountability in terms of the steering capacity of the state. A comparative case study analysis of water supply structures at the regional level in Switzerland shows, in contrast to our expectation, that effectiveness has mixed impacts on horizontal coordination. Rather than being solely a positive factor for horizontal coordination, certain output criteria such as financial redistribution are found to be a key hindrance. We also find that democratic legitimacy may, indeed, impede horizontal coordination whereas increased accountability positively affects such coordination.

Item Type:

Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)


03 Faculty of Business, Economics and Social Sciences > Social Sciences > Institute of Political Science
10 Strategic Research Centers > Oeschger Centre for Climate Change Research (OCCR)

UniBE Contributor:

Ingold, Karin Mirjam


300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology > 320 Political science




Jeremy Simeon Trottmann

Date Deposited:

19 Jul 2016 08:00

Last Modified:

05 Dec 2022 14:56


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