Hooghe and Marks’ book was recently announced as the winner of the APSA’s Martha Derthick Book Award. The award is given to the "best book published at least ten years ago that has made a lasting contribution to the study of federalism and intergovernmental relations.” The authors join a list of previous winners, including Deil Wright (UNC), Martha Derthick, William Riker, Vincent Ostrom, Nancy Burns, Jonathan Rodden, and Wallace Oates.
Liesbet Hooghe and Gary Marks are Programme Associates of the European Governance and Politics Programme at the Schuman Centre. Their research focuses on comparative politics, multilevel governance and measurement. They are the project leaders of the TRANSNATIONAL project, a European Research Grant on political polarisation in Western societies.
The award committee noted that their book, which was published in 2001, "had a lasting impact on the way scholars think about what autonomy means, as demonstrated by the over 5,000 citations that it has received”. At the time when Liesbet and Gary wrote the book, the field of European Studies was grappling with the changing nature of the European Union. The book bridged conventional international relations and comparative politics perspectives by conceptualising the European Union as a system of multilevel governance, in which national states share authority with both subnational authorities and the EU. It also examines the implications for EU decision-making, party competition, and public policy. Multilevel governance has now become a global concept. The theory is used to characterise shifts in authority across Asia, Africa, and America and to deal with policy challenges that necessitate jurisdictional coordination across diverse scales, such as climate change or migration. The concept has been ‘hijacked’ by various public authorities such as the European Union, the OECD, and the United Nations to encourage governments to cooperate on the challenging policy issues of our time.