• Summary
  • Contents

Key Concepts in Governance provides a clear introduction to the technical concepts and policies of contemporary governance through short definitional essays. Each entry features a snapshot definition of the concept, a contextualization of the concept,  an overview of relevant debates, and a guide to further reading. The book also includes a substantial introductory chapter which gives an overview of governance studies as a whole, orientating and guiding the reader around the issues that the concepts address. 


Institutionalism is a general approach to governance and social science. It concentrates on institutions and studies them using inductive, historical, and comparative methods.

Social science, no matter how one defines it, has from its inception put great emphasis on the study of institutions. Institutions have often been understood as formal organizations governed by written laws or rules. Examples of formal institutions include Parliament, the US Presidency, the courts, government departments, and political parties. The concept of an institution can be stretched to include informal organizations. Although informal organizations might lack written rules, they exhibit patterns of behavior that we might unpack in terms of loose norms. Examples of informal institutions might include community groups, voting coalitions, and policy networks. A vague distinction between formal and ...

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