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Transdisciplinary Discourses on Cross-Border Cooperation in Europe

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Edited By Joachim Beck

In the context of European integration, cross-border cooperation has become increasingly important. Following both the quantitative and qualitative expansion of this policy-field, it has repeatedly been the subject of scientific analysis in the past. However, as a result of the classical differentiation of the scientific system, it was mostly viewed from a monodisciplinary perspective. This publication aims at the foundation of a trans-disciplinary research approach in the field of European cross-border cooperation. It takes the multi-dimensional reality of practical territorial cooperation in Europe as a starting point and develops a transdisciplinary scientific approach. Based on a common analytic frame of reference, practical patterns of cross-border policy-making in different European border regions are analyzed from the integrated theoretical perspectives of various scientific disciplines: Political Science, Geography, Sociology, History, Law, Cultural Sciences and Socio-Linguistics, Economics and Administrative Science. The scientific conceptualizations are expanded by reports from practitioners coming from different institutional and functional levels of European cross-border policy-making.

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Cross-border cooperation from the perspective of Administrative Science (Joachim Beck)

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Cross-border cooperation from the perspective of Administrative Science

Joachim BECK

1.  Introduction

Public administrations play an outstanding role in the development and implementation of cross-border cooperation in Europe. Be it at local, regional, national or EU-level ‒ wherever policies, cooperation approaches, projects, programs, structures et cetera are designed and developed in a cross-border perspective, the question as to which administrative unit, in which form, and in which vertical and horizontal interdependency, is or is not to be involved, arises. Public administration is thus both an object and an acting subject of cross-border cooperation. It is therefore all the more interesting that in spite of a tradition of more than 50 years, administrative science in Continental Europe has so far only rarely focused on the research topic of cross-border cooperation. This can be explained mainly by two factors: firstly, despite the increasing internationalization and, above all, Europeanization, the actual subject matter of administrative sciences is still strongly oriented on the context of national administrative systems ‒ even in its comparative form. Experiments to the implementation of internationally valid concepts such as the New Public Management (NPM) movement of the 1990s have hardly changed this. On the contrary, implementation analysis shows that, despite the increase in certain congruences, the persistence of national systems is still a large one. And especially within Europe, public administration is still a very different phenomenon from Member State to Member State ‒ despite the variety of attempts by the European...

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