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 41: EU and supranational governance

Diana Panke and Miguel Haubrich-Seco

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


The EU has led to a strong diversity of governance modes in political practice – followed by an equally rich literature on the topic. The so-called “governance turn” in EU studies testifies to these developments, which led to an increase in scholarly interest in regard to old but especially to new modes of governance (NMGs). While supranational governance is certainly the most prominent addition to the “toolkit” of governance that can be attributed to European integration, many other modes of governance have emerged over the more than six decades since the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC) was founded in 1951. The chapter presents the key empirical variants of governance in current EU policy-making and shows how they have evolved over time. Then it sheds light on up to date research questions and concludes with a reflection on gaps in the research on EU and supranational governance.

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