Political Institutionalisation and Governance of the German Metropolitan Regions: A Comparative Study
In Germany, some cities and districts try to react to the challenges of global location competition by the constitution of metropolitan regions. Thus new forms of intermunicipal co-operation on a regional scale emerge. Within the context of a national policy for spatial development eleven such metropolitan regions have been defined in Germany, and local activities supporting their constitution were encouraged. In spite of differing results and success in the eleven regions this process of political institutionalisation has led to partially similar institutional forms. This study compares the institutionalisaton process in the German metropolitan regions with the help of an idealtype model of institutionalisation steps. In addition, the design of the comparative study also allows testing potential effects of intervening factors as the regions’ monocentricity / polycentricity and the existence of Laender borders in a region on cooperative success. The study comes to the result that so far only few metropolitan regions have reached the stage of advanced institutionalisation and co-operation. The diversity of the institutionalisation paths prevents a „best practice“ recommendation at the present state of knowledge. As the constitution process in the regions still proceeds in a highly dynamic way, this study should be repeated within a five years’ period.