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.
Chapter 6: Self-Governance
Self-governance is an important mode of societal governance.1 Self-governance refers to the capacity of social entities to govern themselves autonomously. However, what ‘self-governance’ is and what its contribution to societal governance is and could be in modern society is not (yet) fully understood. Without sustaining a capacity for self-governance, societal governance becomes an impossible task, as the history of many totalitarian regimes has shown: the fate of the former East European ‘People's Republics’ is a clear example. However, societies cannot rely on self-governing as the only mode of governance. Even the staunchest supporters of liberal societies see a (limited) governing role for the state, and in practice fully self-governing societies do not exist. However, there are societies in which self-governance plays an important role.