Table of Contents

Handbook on Theories of Governance

Handbook on Theories of Governance

Edited by Christopher Ansell and Jacob Torfing

In the past two decades, governance theories have arisen semi-independently across multiple disciplines. In law and regulation, planning, democratic theory, economics, public management, and international relations, among other disciplines, scholars have sought to describe new strategies of governing. As a result, the notion of governance is now one of the most frequently used social science concepts in the world. No single theory encompasses this diverse body of work, but rather multiple theories with different aims and perspectives. The Handbook on Theories of Governance collects these theories of governance together as an analytical resource for governing in an increasingly complex, fragmented and dynamic society.

Chapter 12: Public participation

Kathryn S. Quick and John M. Bryson

Subjects: politics and public policy, public policy, regulation and governance

Abstract

Public participation in governance involves the direct or indirect involvement of stakeholders in decision-making about policies, plans or programs in which they have an interest. This chapter explores the theories illuminating key concerns: what constitutes legitimate and useful public participation; the relationships among diversity, representation and inclusion; the appropriate influence of different kinds of knowledge; and how to align participation methods and contexts. We describe two areas needing additional theoretical development: what levels of participation are desirable and workable; and the threats and opportunities for participation posed by increasingly diffuse systems of governance.

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