This book offers a theoretical and analytical account of governance that enables us to investigate how societies are governed, and with what consequences for power and inequality. Our approach enables us to treat governance as at once fully political and fully social, and to rescue its relevance for the analysis of politics, policy and society. In this opening chapter, I discuss how the term ‘governance’ gained traction as an analytical concept from the 1990s onwards, and what became of it. The term was adopted and discussed in (mostly European) debates in political science, around the idea that the late twentieth century had generated new ways of organizing collective decision-making and policymaking; even of new states. I examine some of their critiques, and consider the importance of the context(s) within which they were developed. I explore their implications for how we make sense of governance as an analytical concept, and for public policy and how it is made. The chapter presents this critical review to argue for a theoretically and analytically coherent account of governance. At the centre of this account must be an interrogation of how statehood, and the authority to act as a state, are produced by the interactions and practices of social actors and with what implications for political and social inequalities over time. It is just such an account that we seek to offer in this book.
|Title of host publication||Governance analysis at the intersection of politics, policy and society|
|Place of Publication||Cheltenham|
|Publisher||Edward Elgar Publishing Ltd|
|Publication status||Published - 2019|