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 20: The managerial aspect of interactive governance

Erik Hans Klijn


Klijn argues, in Chapter 20, that interactive governance and the plea for participation and self-organization are strongly informed and motivated by ideas about democracy and participation. Analysing these processes tends to emphasize the way citizens participate in the process and the degree of influence they have. In his chapter Klijn argues that the managerial effort of interactive governance is likely to be as important (maybe even more) as the democratic character. He claims that the contrast often made between managerialism and democracy often vastly overemphasizes the conflict between the two and ignores the fact that good effective citizen participation with any impact needs strong management of network interactions in which the interactions take place. By using some recent research, Klijn indicates that there is a strong correlation between managerial activity, inclusion of stakeholders and performance. He then critically reflects on accountability issues that managers often face in interactive governance settings. Within this chapter, he goes deeper into these accountability problems and proposes possible solutions for these problems.

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