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 20: Innovation

Jean Hartley and Jacob Torfing

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


Over the last decade, public leaders and managers, along with academics, have become attracted to concepts and practices of “innovation” and “governance,” and the result is a burgeoning amount of policy reports, strategy papers and scholarly works. With so much written about innovation and about governance relevant to the public sphere, it is surprising that so little academic work has explored their connections. In order to compensate for this neglect this chapter asks two questions: How can various governance arrangements and processes enhance or inhibit innovation, and with what consequences? How can innovation processes change institutional forms of governance and thus lead to “governance innovation”? By answering these questions we aim to explore the impact of governance on innovation and the role of innovation in transforming governance.

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