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Title: Bringing Governments Back in: Governance and Governing in Comparative Policy Analysis
Authors: Giliberto Capano
Michael Howlett 
M Ramesh 
Keywords: comparative public policy
governance; government
Issue Date: 10-Aug-2015
Publisher: Routledge
Citation: Giliberto Capano, Michael Howlett, M Ramesh (2015-08-10). Bringing Governments Back in: Governance and Governing in Comparative Policy Analysis. Journal of Comparative Policy Analysis: Research and Practice 17 (4) : 311-321. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: In many visions of governance, governments are portrayed as playing a “steering”, rather than “rowing”, role. The widespread use of privatization, deregulation, decentralization and third-party governments are often mentioned as concrete manifestations of the broad transformation which has led to new forms of governance. Examined more closely, however, the large and growing body of literature on governance has done little to clarify what is “new” about “new governance”. Does it indicate a clean break from institutions and processes of the past, or is it merely chronicling an assortment of instrument changes necessary for governments to adapt to changing socio-economic conditions? Do the changes really indicate the emergence of a new system in which the government is merely another player on a par with societal and international counterparts? More fundamentally, is governance a normative framework reflecting the hopes and desires of those who prefer smaller governments, or an empirical description of an existing reality? This article briefly surveys existing studies in the field as an introduction to the articles in this special issue. These articles provide strong arguments in support of the view that governments continue to play a pivotal role in policy-making, and that if this fact is not taken into consideration then the perception is of governance risk being anchored to a merely normative or prescriptive view rather than an empirically robust one.
Source Title: Journal of Comparative Policy Analysis: Research and Practice
ISSN: 1387-6988
DOI: 10.1080/13876988.2015.1031977
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