Governance: Exploring Four Approaches and Their Relevance to Research
Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies (IHEID)
RESEARCH FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT: FOUNDATIONS, EXPERIENCES, AND PERSPECTIVES, pp. 165-183, U. Wiesmann, H. Hurni, ed., Geographica Bernensia, 2011
Although governance is widely used in policy debates, it has remained a fuzzy concept, referring sometimes to theoretical approaches and sometimes to ideological stances. From the point of view of many developing countries it connotes a set of ‘recipes’ and constraints imposed by Western institutions. This article explores how, based on existing approaches, the concept of governance could be developed into an analytical tool for the social and development sciences that does not fall prey to ideological connotations.
For this purpose, the article presents what I consider to be the four most popular approaches to the concept of governance: corporate governance, global governance, good governance, and modern governance.
These approaches are compared and analysed in terms of both their gaps and their potential contributions to the analytical tool envisioned. The criteria developed for this tool are that it should be suitable for analysing social dynamics at various levels, in different societies, and at different times, and that there should be no limitation to the actors incorporated into the analysis. Accordingly, governance is delineated in the first instance as the decision-making processes that take place whenever collective stakes lead to competition and cooperation.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 19
Keywords: Governance, corporate governance, global governance, good governance, modern governance
JEL Classification: D23, D70, O20
Date posted: March 9, 2012
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