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Democratic Governance

by Mark Bevir Princeton University Press
Pub Date:
Pbk 320 pages
AU$89.00 NZ$92.17
Product Status: Not Our Publication - we no longer distribute
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Democratic Governance examines the changing nature of the modern state and reveals the dangers these changes pose to democracy. Mark Bevir shows how new ideas about governance have gradually displaced old-style notions of government in Britain and around the world. Policymakers cling to outdated concepts of representative government while at the same time placing ever more faith in expertise, markets, and networks. Democracy exhibits blurred lines of accountability and declining legitimacy. Bevir explores how new theories of governance undermined traditional government in the twentieth century. Politicians responded by erecting great bureaucracies, increasingly relying on policy expertise and abstract notions of citizenship and, more recently, on networks of quasi-governmental and private organizations to deliver services using market-oriented techniques. Today, the state is an unwieldy edifice of nineteenth-century government buttressed by a sprawling substructure devoted to the very different idea of governance--and democracy has suffered. In Democratic Governance, Bevir takes a comprehensive look at governance and the history and thinking behind it. He provides in-depth case studies of constitutional reform, judicial reform, joined-up government, and police reform. He argues that the best hope for democratic renewal lies in more interpretive styles of expertise, dialogic forms of policymaking, and more diverse avenues for public participation.

List of Tables ix

Preface xi

Acknowledgments xiii

Abbreviations xv

Chapter One: Interpreting Governance 1

Part I: The New Governance 15

Chapter Two: The Modern State 17

Chapter Three: New Theories 39

Chapter Four: New Worlds 65

Part II: Constitutionalism 93

Chapter Five: Democratic Governance 95

Chapter Six: Constitutional Reform 122

Chapter Seven: Judicial Reform 147

Part III: Public Administration 175

Chapter Eight: Public Policy 177

Chapter Nine: Joined-up Governance 199

Chapter Ten: Police Reform 227

Conclusion: After Modernism 251

Bibliography 275

Index 293

Democratic Governance is a highly original, broad-ranging, and ambitious book that makes distinctive contributions to democratic theory, the sociology of knowledge, and public policy. Its major contribution is to show how relatively abstract social theories have informed, down to the details, agendas of political, administrative, and policy reform. Archon Fung, Harvard University This impressive book draws upon a wide range of literatures in political science, sociology, policy analysis, and public administration to raise--and attempt to answer--pressing questions about the undemocratic or even antidemocratic implications of emerging models of 'governance.' Bevir traces the appeal of this recently coined term of art to conservative and neoliberal dissatisfactions with government, whose supposed inefficiencies could be corrected by allegedly more efficient modes such as markets. Terence Ball, Arizona State University
Mark Bevir is professor of political science at the University of California, Berkeley. His books include 'Key Concepts in Governance' and 'New Labour: A Critique'.