Multilevel Democracy: A Comparative Perspective

  • Fritz W. ScharpfEmail author
Part of the Comparative Territorial Politics book series (COMPTPOL)


Treating electoral accountability as a necessary institutional precondition of both input- and output-oriented democratic legitimacy, the chapter explores its realization in several variants of multilevel government. Whereas US “dual federalism” and German “joint-decision federalism” differ significantly in the allocation of governing powers and in coupling or decoupling of governing processes, they are highly effective in establishing the political accountability of governments to electorates on both levels. By contrast, both the EU and the European Monetary Union (EMU) lack a politically accountable government. And whereas EU legislation might draw upon the democratic legitimacy of national governments, the present EMU regime must be able to control and override the exercise of national governing powers by democratically accountable national governments.


Multilevel democracy Electoral accountability USA Germany European Union European Monetary Union 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies (MPIfG)CologneGermany

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