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 24: Information-based governance theory

Graham Bullock

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


Information-based governance is the process by which information is used to steer society and the economy towards collectively negotiated objectives. This chapter discusses the key conceptual issues, research questions and empirical findings associated with this form of governance. It classifies information-based strategies by the form and content of the information they provide, the methods used to generate that information, the types of organizations behind these strategies, and the audiences they are oriented towards. It also describes relevant theoretical perspectives related to the role of information at both the macro- and the micro-levels of society as well as the specific role of the state, civil society and the private sector in information-based governance initiatives. The chapter summarizes findings related to the effectiveness of this form of governance, identifies gaps in the related literature and suggests that the development of a robust theory of information-based governance is an important area for future research.

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