Internal network structures as opportunity structures: Control and effectiveness in the European competition network

Vantaggiato, Francesca Pia, Kassim, Hussein ORCID: and Wright, Kathryn (2021) Internal network structures as opportunity structures: Control and effectiveness in the European competition network. Journal of European Public Policy, 28 (4). pp. 571-590. ISSN 1350-1763

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European Administrative Networks (EANs) are well-studied platforms of collaboration between national authorities. To understand EANs, the literature typically relies on few explanatory variables: network origins, objectives, and outputs. This external view of EANs leaves important questions unanswered, notably concerning power redistribution and regulators’ perception of EANs. This article highlights the importance of network internal structures as an explanatory variable for understanding EANs. We contend that internal structures are ‘opportunity structures’ for regulators to set agendas and share resources. We investigate the case of the European Competition Network (ECN)–a highly structured, hierarchical and formalized enforcement network–drawing on structured interviews with 15 National Competition Agencies (NCAs) carried out in 2014. We find that the ECN’s formal internal structures afford all NCAs access to the agenda, foster perceptions of effectiveness, and promote informal sharing of expertise outside the network. Future research should incorporate internal structures into analyses of administrative networks.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: agencies,agenda-setting,community,cooperation,delegation,eu,european administrative networks,european competition network,governance,institutions,politics,regulatory networks,union,control,effectiveness,internal structures
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Arts and Humanities > School of Politics, Philosophy, Language and Communication Studies
UEA Research Groups: Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Research Groups > Policy & Politics
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Depositing User: LivePure Connector
Date Deposited: 26 Mar 2020 01:30
Last Modified: 22 Oct 2022 05:58
DOI: 10.1080/13501763.2020.1737183

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