Governance, networks and intergovernmental systems

Authored by: Robert Agranoff , Michael McGuire , Chris Silvia

Routledge Handbook of Public Policy

Print publication date:  November  2012
Online publication date:  December  2012

Print ISBN: 9780415782456
eBook ISBN: 9780203097571
Adobe ISBN: 9781136223259


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Governments today operate within systems of governance that include interacting governmental bodies and nongovernmental organizations (NGO). These interconnections have increased dramatically in recent decades because of increased intergovernmentalization and government externalization. The former refers to grant, regulatory, and related vehicles of connecting central and subnational governments and the latter to moving governmental functions and services delivery outside governments’ boundaries through contracting, vouchers for goods and services, and related means of “privatization.” This has led to the need to capture the essence of public activity as governance, “a mix of all kinds of governing efforts by all manner of socio-political actors, public as well as private; occurring between them at different levels, in different governing modes and orders” (Kooiman 2003: 3). Such interactive governance increasingly occurs within networks of government officials and NGO actors, that is “structures of interdependence involving multiple organizations or parts thereof, where one unit is not merely the formal subordinate of the others in some larger hierarchical arrangement” (O’Toole 1997: 45).

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