Modes of Governance: A Note Towards Conceptual Clarification

Source: RePEc


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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    • "However, the state-led environmental policy is no longer the only, nor arguably the main strategy for controlling effluent flows from aquaculture. The globalization of fish trade and a widening diversity in governance towards non-state actors and approaches (Treib et al., 2007) is behind the increasing role of (often voluntary) standards and certification in the environmental governance of aquaculture (Belton et al., 2009; Hatanaka, 2010; Vandergeest, 2007). As the role of these standards expands, actors are being drawn into new regulatory networks that cross multiple (local, national and global) governance levels and that include both vertical/hierarchical state authorities as well as horizontal actors outside the state (Marks & Hooghe, 2004). "
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    ABSTRACT: Poor water quality is one of the key environmental problems associated with shrimp and pangasius aquaculture in Vietnam. Several studies exist on the causes and effects of poor water quality, and on possible solutions for effluent control in these two economically important production systems. However, only a small number of Vietnamese farms apply these reduction options, raising questions over the state-enforced compliance with legislated water-quality measures. Voluntary standards and certification networks have recently emerged as alternative forms of water-quality governance in Vietnamese aquaculture. This paper examines a number of ongoing and interlinked international, national and community level initiatives on (voluntary) standards and certification that aim to promote sustainable shrimp and pangasius aquaculture in Vietnam. The results indicate the potential, but also challenges, in the development and implementation of national and international standards and demonstrate the need for more attention to the role of local institutions like producer co-operatives in multi-level governance arrangements.
    Journal of Environmental Policy and Planning 12/2011; 13(4-4):373-397. DOI:10.1080/1523908X.2011.633701 · 0.62 Impact Factor
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    • "Some have tried to advocate a more coherent notion of governance (see, e.g., Lessig 1998; Mayntz 2003; Rhodes 1997) or even map modes of governance in various frameworks and models (cf. Treib et al. 2007). Yet, while this approach allows a clear and relative positioning of different theories, it would not so much explain the phenomenon of heterogeneity of approaches, but rather explain it away. "
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    ABSTRACT: Over the past decade, researchers have become increasingly interested in the theoretical and practical issue of governance as it relates to information and communication technologies. However, while the field has grown with the proliferation and use of such technologies, its scope and focus are far from clear: what counts as governance in settings, in which people increasingly interact through networked digital media? How can we think about interaction, coordination and control in these environments? What is the role of technologies in creating and maintaining regimes of governance? And what methodologies and methods are appropriate for understanding them? This paper draws on an interdisciplinary workshop held at Oxford University to have a closer look at some of these issues. It suggests that a key to understanding the heterogeneity of workshop contributions is to attend to the performativity of governance and governance research, the analytic status of ‘technology’ and the conceptual and methodological devices we use to research it.
    SSRN Electronic Journal 10/2010; DOI:10.2139/ssrn.1706036
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    • "t issue field as its crucial fundamentals so as to approach a number of definition problems, boundaries and conceptual weaknesses of the governance approach. This latter have dealt with a plurality of aspects, including hierarchical regimes (Börzel and Heard-Lauréote 2009:138), calling for a number of clarifications in the literature (Mayntz 2003, Treib et. al. 2007) as related local modes (or arrangements). By selecting a political field that is not characterised by a full development of local governance arrangements, here we aim to work on the base of a compromise between a general idea of governance as " what is going on in town " and a more specific conceptualisation of it as local governance a"
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    ABSTRACT: This paper focuses on governance dynamics and processes of democratisation in the field of unemployment. In particular, we take the two cases of Lyon and Turin, which are comparable in terms of economic structure, process of de-industrialisation and long-standing traditions of trade-unionism, so as to deal with a number of linkages across the public and the policy domains. Our main question is: Does the civil society – in its broadest meaning as a set of formal organisations, trade unions and social movements – have full access (formal or informal) to elites and institutions in the policy domain? Drawing upon most recent developments in the governance literature, the specific focus of this paper is on inclusive vertical linkages of political participation that may close the gap between public authorities and civil society organisations. More broadly, our analysis of various dynamics taking place in the field of unemployment allows for the comprehensive understanding of a highly segmented civil society, as it encompasses contentious actors (such as social movements as well as spontaneous committees), pivotal actor for the paix social (trade unions) as well as strategic partners for the delivering of public policies (for example, cooperatives and training schools).
    XXIV Congress of the Italian Political Science Association; 09/2010
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