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

Fabrizio De Francesco, Lucas Leopold, Jale Tosun

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


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
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Environmental Policy & Planning
Early online date25 Jun 2020
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 25 Jun 2020


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


  • 1 Visiting an external academic institution

University of Heidelberg, Institute for Political Science

Fabrizio De Francesco (Visiting researcher)

6 Mar 20188 May 2018

Activity: Visiting an external institution typesVisiting an external academic institution

Cite this