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.
'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