Democracy and Good Governance in a Europeanized Administrative Order (Norwegian Research Council)
This project is one work package in the framework of a larger study on the evolution of public inquiry commissions in Norway. Public inquiry commissions (offentlige utredningsutvalg) constitute a core element of policymaking and governance in the Nordic countries. However, ongoing changes in the conditions for policy-making, democracy and executive organization in Europe are challenging the traditional role of inquiry commissions in the Nordic political systems. In particular, the intertwined trends of expertization, i.e. the increasing reliance on experts and expertise in politics and public administration, and Europeanization, the processes by which national governance systems adapt to European-wide norms and EU-level bodies, have put existing policy advice mechanisms under pressure. These processes raise fundamental questions about the continued functioning and legitimacy of inquiry commissions: Is the investigation of policy problems and solutions increasingly left to a small elite of national and international experts? The objective of the EUREX work package „comparative dimensions“ is to compare developments in the Norwegian commission system with changes to inquiry commissions and broader policy advice regimes in Germany. The primary aim of the comparative investigation is to understand how the organization of policy advice at the national level conditions the strength and shape of expertization and Europeanization. Do differences in the existing mechanisms for providing policy advice shape the impact of these processes?