Between government and governance
in When politics meets bureaucracy
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The first part of the chapter summarizes the main findings of the book and discuss their theoretical implications for network governance theory. A key point is that political and administrative practices do not divide themselves into any orderly distinction between government and governance. Consequently, the author argues that the two categories should rather be treated as conceptual metaphors that enable an analysis of the coexisting institutional logics regulating municipal policy processes. The chapter further addresses a number of key propositions from the network governance literature, including the transformation thesis and metagovernance. While the author nuances most of these propositions, the goal is not to provide a new and comprehensive account of governance. Rather, the empirical investigation in the book demonstrates how political practices are informed by a contingent mix of different traditions and developments. The author therefore provides a warning against uncritically transporting theoretical conceptualizations as comprehensive explanatory devices across contexts.

The author also summarizes the analysis of pragmatic policy alliances, arguing that such alignments are made up of individual actors mediating between organizational and individual goals, thereby operating in tension with the hierarchical command chain of the municipal organization. However, such alignments can also find an alternative source of legitimacy rooted in a sense of pragmatism and egalitarian trust. This observation is carried into the end of the chapter, where the author concludes the book with a discussion of the historical and cultural conditions underpinning relations in municipal policy development.

When politics meets bureaucracy

Rules, norms, conformity and cheating


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