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About this book

Having started out as a new and alternative way of thinking about policy making and governing more broadly, governance is now established as a dominant paradigm in understanding national, subnational and global politics.

The long-awaited second edition of this textbook takes into account the significant growth and proliferation of the field in recent years and offers a state of the art introduction to how governance is being theorised and studied today.

Written by two leading political scientists, Governance, Politics and the State considers how societies are being, and can be, steered in a complex world where states must increasingly interact with and influence other actors and institutions to achieve results. It is a valuable book for all students of governance.

New to this edition

A fully updated and revised set of chapters, including four new chapters – on multilevel governance, global governance, metagovernance and populism and governance A postscript on how to study governance.

Table of Contents

1. Different Ways to Think About Governance

Abstract
Governance can be a confusing term. It has become an umbrella concept for such a wide variety of phenomena as policy networks (Rhodes, 2017), public management (Hood, 1991; Pollitt and Bouckaert, 2017), coordination of sectors of the economy (Campbell et al., 1991; Hollingsworth et al., 1994), public–private partnerships (Pierre, 1998a), collaboration between public and private actors in public service delivery (Ansell and Gash, 2007; Donahue and Zeckhauser, 2011), corporate governance (Tricker, 2015; Williamson, 1996), and ‘good governance’ as a reform objective for some time promoted by the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) (Leftwich, 1994).
Jon Pierre, B. Guy Peters

2. Conceptual and Theoretical Perspectives on Governance

Abstract
This chapter will elaborate on the nature of the concept of governance and particularly the variety of theoretical perspectives in the social sciences that can be brought to bear on this subject. As well as elaborating the concept itself, this discussion of the existing literature will identify a number of ways of explaining observed variations in governance. We will be able to see very clearly that there are perhaps as many different views about governance as there are scholars interested in the subject. As a consequence of those differences, a great deal of clarification and definition is necessary when beginning any discussion using this term.
Jon Pierre, B. Guy Peters

3. The Transformation of Governance

Abstract
The key argument in this book is that political institutions, whether it is the State or a regional or local authority, have been and continue to be at the centre of governance. The State, as Alasdair Roberts (2018: 36) puts it, is ‘the fundamental unit of political organization in the modern world’. There are several explanations to how States have been able to sustain that position: their regulatory and legislative authority; their financial and organizational capabilities; and, not least important, their democratic mandate (in non-democratic States legitimacy is often related to government services and outputs more broadly). These capabilities also make institutions attractive partners to organizations and interests in society. NGOs increasingly seek to work with government departments and agencies, delivering public service in society and overseas. Private businesses want to work as contractors with government as it often tends to purchase extensive services or make large-scale investments in infrastructure.
Jon Pierre, B. Guy Peters

4. Governance Beyond the State

Abstract
When most citizens, and most academics, consider governance, they tend to think about national governments, or perhaps the provincial, State and local governments that reside under the national level. But there is at least some governance that occurs beyond the nation-state and its component units. There has been a ‘governance turn’ in international relations (Keohane, 2002; see also Rosenau, 2000) and an increasing interest in global governance in academia as well as among some governments. For example, Rosenau and Czempiel (1992) examined the changing nature of international politics in which the spheres of authority do not necessarily correspond to national boundaries.
Jon Pierre, B. Guy Peters

5. Multilevel Governance

Abstract
Chapter 4 discussed challenges to State authority related to global developments and the growing significance of global governance. The chapter showed how the governance perspective opens up avenues to understanding how collaborative strategies mean just as much as formal authority in today’s complex world. In this chapter, we explore how that same logic applies to relationship among institutional levels within a State. The key point we will discuss is that the relationship between the institutions of the State and those of regional and local government are changing, from an arrangement characterized by hierarchy and insulation from international actors towards a model where cities and regions explore international arenas and present themselves as international actors. At the same time, they remain key providers of public services at their respective levels of society.
Jon Pierre, B. Guy Peters

6. Metagovernance

Abstract
We have been discussing the complexities of governance throughout this book. Much of the traditional literature on governing emphasizes a rather simple model in which the State, through its own institutions, provides governance to society. This State-centric model has also assumed that the State will govern primarily through a public bureaucracy which is organized in a hierarchical manner through ministries and their field staffs. The State makes policy and the State implements policy.
Jon Pierre, B. Guy Peters

7. Populism and Participatory Modes of Governance

Abstract
One of the standard critiques of State-centric forms of governance is that they do not permit sufficient participation by the public except at elections. The rest of the time governance is conducted by elites – elected or unelected – with little input from the people. Democratic governments have been attempting to address those complaints, using a variety of mechanisms to enhance participation (see Geissel and Newton, 2012). Those mechanisms have provided more opportunities for the public to be involved, but a general level of discontent appears to persist in democratic regimes.
Jon Pierre, B. Guy Peters

8. State Strength and Governing Capacity

Abstract
One of the important new perspectives that the governance approach has opened up is how we think about the sources of State strength and its capacity to govern society. Before scholars paid much attention to the role of State–society interactions in policy making and implementation, those capacities were mainly believed to be related to formal, institutional capacity such as formal legislative and regulatory power. This was true even though scholars such as Arthur Bentley (1908) had argued that social actors had a significant influence over policy and governance. The older pluralist, and even corporatist, models assumed the State was largely an arena in which interest groups contended for influence, while later approaches have had interest groups more integrated with the State pursuing common goals.
Jon Pierre, B. Guy Peters

9. Governance Past, Present and Future

Abstract
As long as we have had human societies, we have needed governance. There has always been a need to set collective goals, make decisions, settle disputes and produce some services that require resources than any individual may be able to provide. Throughout this book we have argued that governance is a means of collective steering for the society and the economy. All societies require that steering, but contemporary societies with high levels of internal complexity and contemporary economies with extensive international linkages may require substantially more governance than did simpler social and economic systems.
Jon Pierre, B. Guy Peters
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