Critical Reflections on Interactive Governance
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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.
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Chapter 2: Interactive governance and governability

Jan Kooiman


Kooiman in his chapter presents the foundations of his approach to interactive governance and governability, and the way it has been used and developed in empirical research. In this chapter interactive governance is defined as the whole range of interactions to solve societal problems and to create societal opportunities, the formulation and application of principles guiding those interactions and the care for institutions enabling them. Governability is seen as the overall quality for governance of any societal entity, divided into a system-to-be-governed, a governing system and a system of interactions mediating between the two. Diversity, complexity, dynamics and scale are argued to be major variables influencing the governance and governability of societal entities. In such governance the state, market and civil society play roles; Kooiman argues that these should be analysed at both an actor and a structural level.

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