Table of Contents

Critical Reflections on Interactive Governance

Critical Reflections on Interactive Governance

Self-organization and Participation in Public Governance

Edited by Jurian Edelenbos and Ingmar van Meerkerk

In many countries, government and society have undergone a major shift in recent years, now tending toward ‘smaller government’ and ‘bigger society’. This development has lent increased meaning to the notion of interactive governance, a concept that this book takes not as a normative ideal but as an empirical phenomenon that needs constant critical scrutiny, reflection and embedding in modern societies.

Chapter 7: Interactive governance: authorization, representation and accountability

Yannis Papadopoulos

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


In Chapter 7 Papadopoulos discusses the argument around whether the growth of interactive forms of governance can be seen as an improvement of the quality of democracy through the advent of less hierarchical forms of regulation, in which negotiation and deliberation with policy takers are the norm. Papadopoulos holds the view that such an assessment should be subjected to critical scrutiny. He therefore discusses in his contribution the following three crucial facets of interactive governance’s democratic credentials: ex ante authorization (explicit delegation or not, and if so by whom); representation (of which constituencies and interests) and effective stakeholder participation (decisional influence); ex post accountability (for what, to whom, how, and with what kinds of consequences).

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