Informal Governance in the European Union, Christiansen, Thomas and
Simona Piattoni, eds., Celtenham (UK) and Northampton, MA (USA): Edward
Elgar, 2003, pp. viii, 274.
The nature of governance in the European Union (EU), the production of
authoritative decisions through a plurality of actors and institutional
arrangements, has been at the centre of recent scholarly debates. While at
first sight many of its institutions resemble their national counterparts
the EU seems to have established a system of governance sui
generis with modes of decision-making that reflect the distinct
institutional distribution of power and the complex multi-level game of
accommodating interests in the regional, national and European arena.
Thomas Christiansen and Simona Piattoni have focused on one critical
aspect of this evolving mode of decision-making, namely, the role of
informal governance. It is defined as the operation of networks and actors
pursuing common goals through regular, though not codified and not
publicly sanctioned exchanges in the institutional context of the EU.