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 14: Deliberation

PerOla Öberg

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


Governance includes a plethora of actors, and it is often assumed that these actors aim to realize common objectives through collaboration, and sometimes even through a deliberative exchange of reasons. Although this makes deliberation a key concept in governance theories, conditions for deliberative governance and its mechanisms are seldom elaborated on in the governance literature. This chapter describes recent developments in empirically oriented deliberative theory and research. The current controversies in the field, including discussion on the understanding of reason-giving in different contexts and whether citizens can and are willing to deliberate, are disentangled. Tensions between deliberation and deliberative democracy are highlighted. The aim of the chapter is to contribute to a better understanding of how current research on deliberation can be integrated into theories of governance.

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