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This edited collection examines various facets of governance - the organization and steering of political processes within society - for a better understanding of the complexities of contemporary policy making.



Introduction: Varieties of Governance as a Concept and Empirical Reality


1. Re-thinking Governance in Public Policy: Dynamics, Strategy and Capacities

Governance is not a fashion, but a firmly established lens through which to analyse the complexity of contemporary policy-making, that is the way in which a society and its political processes are organized and steered. Thus, governance needs to be seen as a general concept within political analysis that represents a necessary, heuristic tool with which to describe some of the complexity of political processes. Governance is not only a fashionable term, but one destined to remain with us for some time yet.

Giliberto Capano, Michael Howlett, M. Ramesh

Governance Dynamics


2. Governing Cross-border Capital Flows: The Dynamics of Capital Account Policies

In line with the themes set out by the editors of this book, this chapter sheds light on the governance dynamics in the sector of global finance. Focusing on the historical evolution of the policies governing the movement of cross-border capital flows, the chapter illustrates that these policies can be fruitfully analysed from a diachronic perspective that brings into reliefs the mix of policy instruments and architectural features that usually characterize governance arrangements at each point in time (Capano et al. 2012). The chapter then moves on to investigate the factors that help account for the governance dynamics of capital account policies from the 1940s to the present. Anticipating briefly the findings discussed below, the arrangements governing the movement of cross-border capital flows has evolved from an initial equilibrium point characterized by governance arrangements based on “command-and-control” policy instruments (such as capital controls) administered by domestic governments under the auspices of a public intergovernmental organization, to a new governance equilibrium based on softer policy instruments such as voluntary standards and best practices, whose enforcement has been primarily delegated to the exercise of market discipline. In the aftermath of the global financial crisis, then, the direction of governance dynamics has somehow reversed its previous trend because of mixed combination of preceding modes of governance (Table 2.1).

Manuela Moschella

3. Similar Regulatory Challenges but Contrasting Modes of Governance? The Puzzle of Governing Human Biotechnology across Western Europe

Human biotechnology is a fairly recent policy issue that emerged onto the political agenda in the 1980s and 1990s in most Western European countries. As an emerging policy area, human biotechnology was largely unstructured and the governance was mostly left to the medical and scientific communities. In the meantime, with the exception of Ireland, all Western European states have designed regulation, yet governance modes still vary considerably. Various governance modes have been developed. Some of these modes rely on traditional “command and control” governing arrangements, others operate with delegated or partial self-governance. While the government has taken a more pre-eminent role over time in the governance of the field, some striking variation remains. The challenge is to understand when, how and under what conditions modes of governance emerge and evolve over time. In this chapter, we shed light on the impact of the dynamics between stakeholders in building up modes of governance over time. We argue that the variation in the configuration of and the interactions between stakeholders, in particular medical and scientific stakeholders, impacts on the trajectory of governance modes over time. The continuous process of structuring a new policy problem is tightly linked to establishing modes of governance (Capano et al. 2012).

Isabelle Engeli, Christine Rothmayr Allison

4. Environmental Policy and Governance: Bringing the State Back In (Again)?

This contribution follows the introductory chapter of Capano, Howlett and Ramesh, arguing that the study of governance both requires a multi-variable explanation and an awareness that governing in the current age has not abandoned the issues and mechanisms of government. The chapter explores the utility of a fourfold governance framework that explores structural, ideational and instrumental levels of political interaction. To empirically challenge the framework, the contribution studies the environmental policy sector. It investigates whether new forms of state-society networks (and the policy styles that they encompass) and new policy instruments are transforming traditional state arrangements, or whether national institutions continue to shape path-dependent dynamics of how actors behave and how instruments operate. Do federal (as opposed to unitary) structures, the orientation of the legal/constitutional structure and the national political economic structures continue to limit the direction and nature of governance?

Anthony R. Zito

Governance Strategies


5. Federal Strategies for Changing the Governance of Higher Education: Australia, Canada and Germany Compared

Over the last three decades there has been a significant governance shift in higher education in all Western countries. Previous governance modes have been reshaped by the continuous efforts of governments, concerned about the capacity of higher education to genuinely serve their respective societies. The efforts of such governments represent an ongoing process characterized by the adoption of similar policy tools (albeit assembled in different policy mixes) and by a clear strategic approach aimed at circumventing or overcoming previous governance modes and the inherited distribution of vested interests. This process of governance change has constituted a multi-level battle in which governments and certain other major policy actors (academic unions, university associations, students, business associations) have acted to pursue their own interests, through a complex, unstable process characterized not only by conflict, but also by agreements, bargaining as well as log-rolling, horizontal networking as well as hierarchical relations. This process is especially interesting in federal countries where the presence of two levels of strong government has rendered matters particularly complex. In fact, despite the fact that all federal constitutions clearly provide for the granting to the state of exclusive powers regarding higher education, federal governments have constantly operated regardless of said constitutional design.

Giliberto Capano

6. Research Policy as “Carrots and Sticks”: Governance Strategies in Australia, the United Kingdom and New Zealand

Over the last three decades, governments in many nations have pursued a set of goals that have substantially changed research policy, transformed how universities are governed and altered how academics do research. The massive expansion of higher education, the growing importance of training for the knowledge economy, and the need to tighten and justify expenditure on universities in many Western nation-states have all contributed to a redefinition of the relationships between national governments, knowledge-based industries, universities and academic disciplines. This chapter focuses on the strategies that governments have used to direct national research policy. It begins with an examination of higher education and research policy, and then considers two modes of governance: new public management (NPM) and network governance (NG) in relation to research policy. It argues that, since the 1980s, governments have pursued their strategic goals for the sector, by assessing and rewarding the research outputs of universities (NPM) and providing incentives to collaborate (NG). An empirical examination of each of Australia, the United Kingdom and New Zealand is then used to demonstrate the use of these two governance strategies, and two specific policy tools associated with them, in action. Finally, the effects of these on individual academics in three universities in different nations are analysed, to highlight the resulting “carrots and sticks” of research policy.

Jenny M. Lewis

7. Changing Multi-level Governance: The Regained Centrality of National Policy-makers in Recasting Pensions in Central Eastern Europe

In the field of pensions, analysts have stressed the progressive shift from hierarchical “command and control” (centred on the key role of national governments) to some forms of network and multi-level governance, in line with the increased emphasis on soft modes of regulation.1 One of the key dimensions of the “governance turn” is related to the increased role of international organizations (IOs). This is particularly the case of Central Eastern Europe (CEE), where IOs (like the World Bank — WB) and regional organizations (like the European Union — EU) have had an evident role in shaping national pensions policy.

David Natali

The Capacities of Governance Modes: Explaining Variation in Modes of Governance


8. Capacity and Autonomy: An Exploration of Fukuyama’s Governance Hypothesis

The governance literature has been around for two decades now. A review of the literature suggests that the term remains largely contested and, as Fukuyama (2013) argues, is in a state of conceptual confusion. Others note that the term has been used expansively, as a broad multidimensional concept lacking operational precision and as an umbrella concept to federate an assortment of different, albeit related ideas (Quibria 2013).

Eduardo Araral, Riccardo Pelizzo, Aziz Burkhanov, Yu-wen Chen, Saltanat Janenova, Neil Collins

9. Governing Health Care in an Imperfect World: Hierarchy, Markets and Networks in China and Thailand

“Anything but the government” has been a popular sentiment in public policy circles for at least two decades. Initially, the sentiment favoured transitions from governments to market-based governance regimes but the tilt has shifted towards transition from governments to network governance in recent years (for discussion of the key relevant concepts, see Lowndes and Skelcher 1998). Much discussion on the subject suggests that such shifts from hierarchical to non-hierarchical governance are both unavoidable and desirable for addressing contemporary complex multi-actor problems which more traditional government-based arrangements find difficult to “steer” (Weber et al. 2011; Lange et al. 2013). Many proponents, for example, claim “network governance” or “collaborative governance” combines the best of both government-and market-based arrangements by bringing together key public and private actors in a policy sector in a constructive and inexpensive way (Rhodes 1997). This claim is no more than an article of faith, however, as there is little evidence supporting it and a lot of evidence contradicting this thesis (see Kj-r 2004; van Kersbergen and van Waarden 2004; Adger and Jordan 2009; Howlett et al. 2009, Hysing 2009). It is entirely possible that network governance combines and indeed compounds the ill-effects of both governments and markets rather than improves upon them and this is a subject area requiring further empirical examination.

M. Ramesh, Xun Wu, Michael Howlett

10. Governance Capacities in the European Union: Normative Goals and Empirical Evidence

This chapter evaluates the governance capacity of a non-state polity, namely the European Union (EU). Given that the EU does not unambiguously qualify as either a state or an international organization only certain dimensions of the EU but not the polity as such can be captured by traditional, state-centred concepts. Not least for this reason, the standard characterization of the EU has become “a system of multilevel governance” (MLG; the term was branded by Gary Mark’s work on cohesion policy — see Marks 1996; see also Marks et al. 1996; Scharpf 1997; Bache 1998). If we conceptualize the EU as a MLG system that is marked by multiple interacting levels of authority, actors in which policy-making processes transcend not only vertically different levels of governance but also horizontally different coexisting jurisdictions (cf. Hooghe and Marks 2003), the question of governance capacity presents itself as pre-eminent: because the EU has only limited state-like features, its tool-box of governance modes differs from those of states in which authority and capacities are monopolized for a given territory.

Eva G. Heidbreder

Conclusion: Moving Forward in Studies of Governance Arrangements


11. The Past and Future of Governance Studies: From Governance to Meta-governance?

This collection is informed by an understanding of the concept of “governance” as a heuristic lens through which the contextual realities of the co-ordination of multiple actors and institutions in the policy system can be reconstructed in detail. The governance lens is presented as trifocal, its three distinctive facets focusing attention respectively on the dynamics of governance or the sense in which governance arrangements can be observed changing over time; on the strategies that actors use to achieve or avoid particular kinds of governance arrangements in the policy realm; and on the “dual capacity” of governance arrangements to achieve (or fail to achieve) concrete policy outcomes and sustain (or fail to sustain) their own legitimacy with respect to co-ordination. This chapter assesses the broader implications of this complex picture of governance as dynamic, strategic and effective for the increasingly popular concept of metagovernance or the governance of governance arrangements and the extent to which the case studies in this volume support the emerging findings of the metagovernance literature. It does so by delineating three main schools of governance studies and demonstrating how they each converged on a concept of second-order or metagovernance. While convergence and the reasons behind it are clear, each has a slightly different concern that colours its conception of metagovernance.

Jeremy Rayner


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