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Democracy through multilevel governance? The implementation of the Structural Funds in South Yorkshire

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  • L200 Politics
  • L400 Social Policy
  • Political Science


This article considers the democratic qualities of multilevel governance at the stage of policy implementation closest to the ground, involving local residents and organizations. Drawing on a case study of the structural funds in South Yorkshire (United Kingdom), it puts forward three models of democracy through which to evaluate the democratic credentials of multilevel governance. The case study illustrates that among the expected complexity and technocracy at this stage of policymaking, there are also experiments in local democracy that have not previously been identified in the academic literature. As such, in the context of deep multilevel governance, there is evidence that while traditional mechanisms of accountability may be undermined, other mechanisms may provide a valuable alternative

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