Governance: An international journal of policy, administration and institutions

The shadow of the state: New articles on shift from “government” to “governance”

Two new Governance articles examine the much-discussed shift from conventional modes of governing to new modes that rely more extensively on private actors and soft policy instruments.

George Christou and Seamus Simpson argue in the current issue (22.4) that European states have succeeded in maintaining a role in the development of policy on Top-Level Domains, even though private actors played an initially large role and resisted assertions of state authority.  “State-shadowed private interest governance,” they say, “is the order of the day.”  Moreover, the system seems to work “effectively and efficiently.”  Read more: New Governance, the Internet, and Country-Code Top-Level Domains in Europe.

Meanwhile, Erik Hysing takes a skeptical view of the “oft-told story line of recent changes in the way society is governed.”  Examining developments in two policy domains in Sweden — forestry and transport — Hysing sees no clear shift from governing to governance.  In both sectors, traditional patterns of public-private interaction have tended to persist.  And in some ways, state authority is now more expansive and asserted more directly.  “The story line is too simple,” Hysing concludes.  “The role of the state is not changing in a unidirectional way.”  Read more: From Government to Governance?  A Comparison of Environmental Governing in Swedish Forestry and Transport.

Written by Governance

November 2, 2009 at 10:04 am

Posted in Current issue

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