chapter  5
15 Pages



This chapter is not about governance in general. There are several introductions available giving a fair picture of the many approaches to the concept (e.g. Schuppert 2005; Kjær 2004; Pierre 2000). Three features are common to them: they reflect the growth of social, economic and political interdependencies; governance is a matter of public as well as private actors; and dividing lines between public and private sectors become blurred. They differ mainly by directing themselves at a particular level, such as local, European or global governance, or by focusing on a particular form or aspect, such as network, multi-level, or participatory governance. The governance perspective discussed in this chapter fits more in the second group looking at governance as a societal phenomenon to be studied at all levels. In this sense Osborne is correct in saying that it can be considered as “most expansively . . . socialpolitical governance as an over-arching theory of institutional relationships within society” (2006: 381).