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Jacob Torfing

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Jacob Torfing

In order to reap the fruits of collaborative governance in networks, partnerships and relational contracting, the interactive governance arenas must be metagoverned. Metagovernance is defined as the “governance of governance” and involves deliberate attempts to facilitate, manage and direct interactive governance arenas without undermining their capacity for self-regulation too much. This chapter first looks at the emergence of metagovernance avant la lettre, and then provides an overview of the different theoretical approaches to the understanding of metagovernance. The theoretical discussion is followed by an attempt to clarify the analytical and practical value of the concept of metagovernance. The chapter goes on to identify different goals, tools and forms of metagovernance as a prelude to a discussion of administrative and political forms of metagovernance. The chapter then sets out some important metagovernance dilemmas and concludes, advancing some reflections on the need for further research.

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Eva Sørensen and Jacob Torfing

In Chapter 21 Sørensen and Torfing deal with the concept of meta-governance. The concept of meta-governance provides, in their view, important insights into how public leaders and managers can govern the various arenas of collaborative governance. They critically reflect on the expanding research on meta-governance and argue that this literature tends to disregard the political aspects of meta-governance and neglects the specific role of politicians in meta-governing interactive governance arenas. In order to remedy this problem, Sørensen and Torfing set out some new ideas about how politicians can exercise vertical political leadership vis-à-vis horizontal networks by deploying some strictly political forms of meta-governance that enhance the democratic legitimacy of interactive governance. Their argument is based on a critical scrutiny of recent theories of meta-governance and political leadership.

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Edited by Christopher Ansell and Jacob Torfing

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Christopher Ansell and Jacob Torfing

To establish a common framework for the individual chapters explaining the intricacies of governance theory, the Introduction first defines the concept of governance and then specifies the basic understanding of governance that informs the contributions to this Handbook. It then explores the rise and development of the governance debate in Western liberal democracies and other parts of the world. Having defined the concept of governance and explored its origins, the Introduction reflects on the content and purpose of theories of governance and the need for a Handbook dedicated to the study of governance theory. This need arises from the rapid expansion of empirical studies of governance, which prompts us to consolidate, assess and further develop the theoretical foundations of this field. At the end of the Introduction, the purpose and content of the four parts of the Handbook are explained and the different ways that it can be used are outlined.

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Jean Hartley and Jacob Torfing

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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Christopher Ansell and Jacob Torfing

Governance theories have arisen in the last 20 or so years to explain new challenges and new forms of governing. This Epilogue reflects on common findings and arguments of the individual chapters in the Handbook on Theories of Governance, identifying ten broad themes that cut across the chapters. Despite the diversity of governance theories, these themes describe some of the central concerns and orientations of governance theorists. This Epilogue concludes by identifying ten common research challenges identified in individual chapters. The chapters argue that addressing these challenges can advance and refine governance theories, and drawing them together in this Epilogue suggests a future research agenda for governance studies.

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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.