Chapter 11: Network
This chapter demonstrates that there is a clear elective affinity between the concept of governance and the network concept as has been developed in the last 50 years. Given the different developments of these two fields in terms, we advise not conflating both concepts but rather analyzing how they can enforce each other. In the chapter, we start from the network perspective to demonstrate how that perspective can contribute to the development of governance theories. Whether governance is studied as a serendipitous structure or as a case of a goal-directed network, both situations offer a rich set of tools and concepts which are valuable for describing and analyzing concrete instances of governance. The outcomes of such analyses do potentially contribute to important elements within the theory of governance. It is demonstrated that the advantage of the network perspective is that it is initially insensitive to specific structures or the role of specific actors (like the role of government), but rather focuses on structures, processes and actors and their respective configurations.
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