Metagovernance: The art of governing interactive governance

Jacob Torfing, B. Guy Peters, Jon Pierre and Eva Sørensen

in Interactive Governance

Published in print January 2012 | ISBN: 9780199596751
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191738180 | DOI:
Metagovernance: The art of governing interactive governance

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This chapter discusses how interactive forms of governance can be metagoverned. It provides a comprehensive discussion of metagovernance that brings together different theoretical contributions and draws on empirical experiences from different countries and levels. The basic argument is that metagovernance is not only a new and important task for governments and other capable actors but also a difficult task that is prone to failure. The chapter begins with a brief assessment of the growing concern for metagovernance avant la lettre. As such, it is claimed that although the concept of metagovernance is new, it helps us to understand practices of “regulated self-regulation” that have played an increasing role in the last few decades. This introductory discussion is followed by an overview of different theoretical approaches to metagovernance. The central insights from these approaches are used to create a more elaborate definition of metagovernance. The next section aims to show how the concept of metagovernance can help us to avoid the misguided idea that interactive governance drastically reduces the role of the government and to secure the democratic anchorage of quasi-markets, networks, and partnerships in elected politicians. The main part of the chapter analyzes the various objectives, tools, and forms of metagovernance and critically reflects on the limits, challenges, and dilemmas of metagovernance. The chapter is concluded with a discussion of what it takes to become a metagovernor and a brief discussion of the future research agenda.

Keywords: self-regulation; institutionalization; metagovernance; policymaking

Chapter.  10076 words. 

Subjects: Comparative Politics

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