Governance: Exploring Four Approaches and Their Relevance to Research

RESEARCH FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT: FOUNDATIONS, EXPERIENCES, AND PERSPECTIVES, pp. 165-183, U. Wiesmann, H. Hurni, ed., Geographica Bernensia, 2011

19 Pages Posted: 9 Mar 2012

See all articles by Marc Hufty

Marc Hufty

Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies (IHEID)

Date Written: 2011

Abstract

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.

Keywords: Governance, corporate governance, global governance, good governance, modern governance

JEL Classification: D23, D70, O20

Suggested Citation

Hufty, Marc, Governance: Exploring Four Approaches and Their Relevance to Research (2011). RESEARCH FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT: FOUNDATIONS, EXPERIENCES, AND PERSPECTIVES, pp. 165-183, U. Wiesmann, H. Hurni, ed., Geographica Bernensia, 2011. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2019013

Marc Hufty (Contact Author)

Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies (IHEID) ( email )

PO Box 136
Geneva, CH-1211
Switzerland

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