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Overestimating the Shift from Government to Governance: evidence from Swiss Metropolitan Areas


Koch, Philippe (2013). Overestimating the Shift from Government to Governance: evidence from Swiss Metropolitan Areas. Governance, 26(3):397-423.

Abstract

There is an oft-stated claim in political science research that public sector reforms in Western democracies are consistent with a shift from government to governance. This article challenges that claim. Based on a comparative analysis of governance reforms in Swiss metropolitan areas, the article reveals that what seems to be a shift to governance may turn out to be a path to government, however, including a change either from the local to the metropolitan level or from general-purpose authorities to task-specific jurisdictions. Further, the article analyzes the political dynamics behind governance reforms. It shows that exogenous pressures put existing governance schemes under strain. Its impact, however, is mediated by the initial institutional setting and the narratives responding to case-specific political dilemmas.

Abstract

There is an oft-stated claim in political science research that public sector reforms in Western democracies are consistent with a shift from government to governance. This article challenges that claim. Based on a comparative analysis of governance reforms in Swiss metropolitan areas, the article reveals that what seems to be a shift to governance may turn out to be a path to government, however, including a change either from the local to the metropolitan level or from general-purpose authorities to task-specific jurisdictions. Further, the article analyzes the political dynamics behind governance reforms. It shows that exogenous pressures put existing governance schemes under strain. Its impact, however, is mediated by the initial institutional setting and the narratives responding to case-specific political dilemmas.

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Citations

9 citations in Web of Science®
13 citations in Scopus®
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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Political Science
Dewey Decimal Classification:320 Political science
Language:English
Date:July 2013
Deposited On:05 Nov 2013 15:38
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 17:06
Publisher:Wiley-Blackwell
ISSN:0952-1895
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-0491.2012.01600.x

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