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 19: Learning

Tanya Heikkila and Andrea K. Gerlak

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


Learning is featured prominently in research on policy change and diffusion, adaptive governance and environmental governance, policy networks and collaborative governance, and is recognized as playing an important role in promoting productive governance. This chapter begins with an exploration of how this literature emphasizes different elements of learning and then identifies the opportunities for integrating these elements to clarify both the process and the products of learning. It further examines the factors that can facilitate or constrain learning, including governance processes that foster diverse stakeholder perspectives and new ways of knowing. Finally, the chapter discusses the challenges that governance scholars face in studying and measuring learning, and offers recommendations for future research agendas.

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