This chapter builds on two foundational constructs in the early literature on cross-sector governance-government by proxy and the partnership paradigm. It explores integrative framework that captures the range of dynamic, cross-sector institutional relationships in the contracting regime and adds value to theory building on public governance in important ways. The chapter explains the core ideas of government by proxy and the partnership paradigm and introduces the proxy-partnership governance continuum. Two major contributors to theory building during these pioneering years were political scientists Donald Kettl and Lester Salamon, both of whom substantially expanded the frontiers of contracting and governance scholarship. The chapter presents Kettl's phrase and Salamon's construct are modified slightly to governance by proxy and governance by partnership, respectively. The resulting array of interactions is labeled here as the proxy-partnership governance continuum. It argues both terms suffer connotation problems, perhaps because of their use in different contexts with different meanings.