It is widely acknowledged that we are witnessing a major transformation of public policy making, a transformation which has been labelled as a change from 'government' to 'governance'. Governance is used to describe policy making and implementation without a central authority in a non-hierarchical, network-like structure through negotiation and cooperation between public and private actors at one or across different political levels. This comprehensive volume combines empirical analysis and normative assessment of governance practices, providing a systematic approach based on a framework for assessing democratic legitimacy. It addresses different modes of governance at the local/regional, national, European and international levels. The volume assesses the alleged 'democratic deficit' of these new governance practices and as such is ideally suited to courses on public administration.
Victor Bekkers is Professor of Public Administration at Erasmus University Rotterdam, The Netherlands. He holds the chair on the empirical study of public policy and public policy processes and is also Academic Director of the Center of Public Innovation. His main research interests are focused on the relationship between governance and ICT, virtual organizations in the public sector, ICT integration in policy networks and policy chains and public innovation. Geske Dijkstra is an Associate Professor at the Department of Public Administration, Erasmus University Rotterdam. Her current research interests focus on the macro-economic effectiveness of aid and debt relief, and on the influence of bilateral and multilateral aid agencies on policy and governance of recipient countries. Arthur Edwards is an Assistant Professor at the Department of Public Administration, Erasmus University Rotterdam. His main research interests focus on e-democracy, local democracy and citizenship. As a member of the Centre for Local Democracy (Erasmus University Rotterdam) he carries out contract research and consultancies for local and regional governments. Menno Fenger is an Assistant Professor at the Department of Public Administration, Erasmus University Rotterdam. He is interested in the tension between institutional path-dependency and theories of policy change, primarily in the field of welfare policy. He currently works in the Netherlands Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment.
'This book addresses the fundamental question of how to make the process of governing modern societies more open and democratic. Drawing from a wide range of cases, the contributors demonstrate a number of ways of moving from traditional representative institutions to involve a wider range of actors in making and implementing public policy. This volume makes a significant contribution to the growing literature.' B. Guy Peters, University of Pittsburgh, USA 'Bekkers et al. provide a strong and compelling work on this topic that not only neatly summarizes the debate but also adds some thoughtful insight into ideas of legitimacy and governance and the relationship between the two....[the book] synthesizes previously used ideas and also provides the concepts of legitimacy and governance with a focus that has perhaps been lacking in some other works.' Political Studies Review