This introductory chapter lays out the conceptual and analytical framework underlying the case-study chapters that follows. Asylum seekers' reception represents a classic multilevel governance (MLG) challenge, i.e., one that brings a multiplicity of interdependent actors into play, ranging from public authorities at different levels of government to non-governmental actors like NGOs, social movements, etc. To address this complexity, the chapter provides a definition of MLG as a specific configuration of multilevel policy-making characterised by collaborative relations among public authorities at different levels of government and between public authorities and civil society at different territorial scales. An analytical approach to the study of MLG is presented, based on a set of explanatory hypotheses considering institutional factors, problem pressure and local authorities' agency, and also addressing the issue of the link between MLG and policy convergence. The chapter also presents the methodology underlying the country chapters along with a summary of the contents of the book.