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Volume 13, Issue 2
  • ISSN: 1476-413X
  • E-ISSN: 1758-9509



The term ‘governance’, in the social sciences as well as in political practice, has emerged as a result of a crisis of interventionist thinking. Post-interventionist theories and concepts of pluralist societies had raised questions that the idea of governance promised to answer by replacing more rigid concepts of social steering by new ideas of cooperation, negotiation, coproduction, hybrid communication, self-regulation, network, etc. It is not so much this often-criticized blurriness of the semantics of governance that provokes questions again, but rather the specific amalgamation of social theory and practice connected to governance. As an effect of this amalgamation, the ‘social-scientification’ of sovereignty and control tends to produce two contradictory effects. Besides the traditional guarantee of freedom, usually connected with a strong rule of law, a very far-reaching pressure and demand of cooperation and participation are becoming powerful, closely guarded under the surface of the brave new world of governance. Against this background, the recollection of the functional nucleus of governance is suggested with the term ‘regulation’ and with a particular emphasis on certain delegalizing effects of governance. The intention of this proposal is neither to dismiss the perspective of governance in toto, nor to revert to interventionist concepts, but rather to set the stage for a dispassionate and detached analysis of law and politics.


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  • Article Type: Article
Keyword(s): governance; law; participation; regulation
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