Distinguishing policy surveillance from policy tracking: transnational municipal networks in climate and energy governance

Fabrizio De Francesco, Lucas Leopold, Jale Tosun

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2 Citations (Scopus)


The challenges related to climate change and energy issues have induced a growing number of actors to participate in governance arrangements of information-sharing and mutual policy-learning. In recent years the increasing availability of data on policy outputs and outcomes has enabled researchers to observe variation in these governance arrangements of transnational municipal climate networks (TMCNs). To capture this variation, we rely on two ideal types of policy information systems: policy tracking (PT) and policy surveillance (PS). Focusing on two TMCNs active in energy governance, our qualitative analysis attests the existence of these two modes of monitoring and reporting greenhouse gas emissions. The Covenant of Mayors for Climate & Energy exemplifies how PS schemes can standardize scoring methodology and facilitate policy compliance and enforcement. In contrast, Energy Cities fits the typology of a PT system that aims to showcase local initiatives and mutual learning.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)857-869
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Environmental Policy & Planning
Issue number6
Early online date25 Jun 2020
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2020


  • climate change
  • energy
  • policy surveillance
  • policy tracking
  • soft governance

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