This year's annual Territory, Politics, Governance lecture by Bob Jessop is now availble on YouTube!


Professor Bob Jessop, Sociology, Lancaster University

Critical Reflections on Multi-Spatial Metagovernance

Interest in federalism and, more recently, multi-level governance (MLG) has grown along with the European Union. As a state in the process of formation, the EU provides a real-time laboratory for experiments in government and governance. This lecture critiques research on MLG and offers an alternative account. Specifically it proposes two ways forward, namely, a more sophisticated account of the socio-spatial complexities of MLG and an extension of governance to metagovernance. The first develops the territory-place-network-scale approach of Jessop, Brenner and Jones; and the second integrates this with work on different kinds of metagovernance, including collibration (the judicious rebalancing of different modes of governance to enhance their effectiveness). But even multi-spatial metagovernance encounters problems due to factors and actors beyond the spatio-temporal limits of a given governance object and to consequences that overflow the field of governance practices. The lecture illustrates how these refinements can be achieved by exploring the continuing crisis of crisis-management in relation to the Eurozone crisis. Its aetiology and effects extend well beyond the territory of Economic and Monetary Union and its multi-spatial metagovernance is conditioned by complex relations with other nodes located above, below, and transversal to the EU – including the USA and international financial institutions.