The concept of `governance' has become a central catchword across the social and political sciences. In Governing and Governance, Jan Kooiman revisits and develops his seminal work in the field to map and demonstrate the utility of a sociopolitical perspective to our understanding of contemporary forms of governing, governance and governability. A central underlying theme of the book is the notion of governance as a process of interaction between different societal and political actors and the growing interdependencies between the two as modern societies become ever more complex, dynamic and diverse. Drawing upon a wide range of interdisciplinary insights, the book advances a comprehensive conceptual framework that seeks to capture the different elements, modes and orders of governing and governance. A series of useful distinctions are employed, for example, between self, `co', and hierarchical modes, and between first, second, or meta orders to illustrate the many different structures and levels of modern governance today. Theoretically rich and illuminating, Governing and Governance will be essential reading for all students and academics across the social and political sciences, public management and public administration.

Governing Action

Governing action

In order for a social-political instrument, regardless of design or application, to work, the action element of governing interactions relies upon convincing and socially penetrating images and sufficient social-political will or support. Scharpf calls this Durchsetzung,1 and I phrased this earlier as ‘will power’.2 A minister, a mayor, a trade union leader, a hospital superintendent, an industrial manager or a citizen as a social activist will try to influence a governing interaction in a specific direction. However, action is also a societal quality. The image of an ‘active society’ is a strong one, and well documented by Etzioni in his seminal book of that title. The active self is as a rule not an individual, but instead a number of persons who ...

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