Modes of Governance: A Note Towards Conceptual Clarification
ABSTRACT Recently, political science has seen an intense debate about the phenomenon of “governance”. The aim of this paper is to clarify the basic concepts that are at the heart of this debate, notably “governance” and “modes of governance”. It argues that most contributions share a common concern for the relationship between state intervention and societal autonomy. But different strands of the literature highlight different facets of this continuum. Existing understandings may be classified according to whether they emphasise the politics, polity or policy dimensions of governance. We use these categories to present a structured overview of different dimensions of modes of governance as they may be found in the literature. In this context, we argue that the classification of modes of governance as “old” or “new” is of little analytical value. Some modes of governance may have been relatively new in some empirical contexts. But the same governing modes may turn out to be long-established practice in other areas. Moving from individual dimensions to systematic classification schemes and typologies of modes of governance, the paper highlights a number of shortcomings of existing schemes and suggests an approach that could avoid these weaknesses. As a first step in this approach, we take a closer look at different policy properties of governance and develop a systematic typology of four modes of governance in the policy dimension: coercion, voluntarism, targeting and framework regulation.
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ABSTRACT: The European Employment Strategy (EES) has opened up new dynamics of Europeanization in the area of social policy. This article proposes to pay more attention to national core executives and their strategic use of the EES when considering its impact. Through core executives, the EES may not only affect domestic policy agendas, but also decision-making on reform. A comparative case study of activating employment policy reforms in the Netherlands and Germany evaluates expectations about how these agents upload and download ideas to and from the EU level. The findings indicate that uploading is facilitated by holding the EU presidency and a good fit with EES prescriptions, while downloading does not seem to depend on prior uploading and degree of fit but on other domestic factors. True strategic use of the EES by core executives following a sequence of uploading and downloading appears to be contingent on several contextual factors.Journal of European Social Policy 01/2012; · 1.36 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Although the public governance of climate change adaptation gained increasing attention among both policy-makers and researchers in recent years, it is still largely unclear how governments aim to develop and implement adaptation policies. This paper takes stock of respective institutional innovations at the national level in 10 Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development countries. It first introduces four challenges that are key in the context of climate adaptation policy-making, that is, (i) how to better integrate adaptation policies horizontally across policy sectors and (ii) vertically across jurisdictional levels, (iii) how to integrate knowledge, and (iv) how to involve non-state stakeholders in adaptation policy-making. Based on a desk research and semi-structured interviews, this paper then highlights a variety of institutional innovations (here referred to as governance approaches) that the selected governments employ to address these four challenges. Overall, it is shown that most of these approaches are restricted to soft, voluntary ways of coordination and steering that often address more than one of the four challenges at a time and that national adaptation strategies usually mark the centrepiece of adaptation governance around which other governance approaches emerge.Journal of Environmental Policy & Planning - J ENVIRON POL PLAN. 01/2012;
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ABSTRACT: Governance became a catch-all concept for various forms of steering by state and non-state actors. While it pays tribute to the complexities of steering in poly-centred, globalised societies, its fuzziness makes it difficult to oversee who actually steers whom and with what means. By focussing mainly on actor constellations, the article disentangles governance into seven basic types of regulation, four of them representing public policies with varying degrees of government involvement and three depending solely on civil society (civil regulation), on businesses (industry or business self-regulation) or on both (civil co-regulation). Although each of the seven types is well known and extensively researched, they are rarely joined in a synoptic view, making it difficult to grasp the totality of contemporary governance. After introducing the seven basic types of regulation and co-regulation, the article addresses the interactions between them and it adds the widely used concepts of hybrid regulation and meta-governance in distinct ways. The synoptic view provided here helps to comprehend how governmental deregulation has been accompanied by soft governmental regulation as well as “societal re-regulation”. The concluding discussion emphasises that this “regulatory reconfiguration” is the cumulative product of countless, more or less spontaneous initiatives that coincide with forceful global trends. It also stresses that the various forms of regulation by civil society and business actors are not simply alternatives or complements to but often key prerequisites for effective public policies. Although the essentials of the typology developed here can be applied universally to a variety of policy issues, I focus it on how businesses are steered towards sustainable development and Corporate Social Responsibility.Policy Sciences 12/2013; · 2.28 Impact Factor