Rowman and Littlefield International
Situating Governance

Situating Governance

Context, Content, Critique

By Antonino Palumbo

Publication Date: Nov 2015

Pages 366

ECPR Press

Paperback 9781907301681
£30.00 €41.00 $46.00

Governance studies present the Regulatory State or the Networked Polity as superior functional solutions to the welfarist forms of government established after the Second World War. Recalling the criticisms advanced by a rising second generation of research, Palumbo warns instead about the growing accountability gap and democratic deficit caused by the development of governance regimes at local, national and transnational level. In hollowing out traditional liberal democratic institutions, new modes of governance are ushering in a post-democratic policy environment that is reinforcing the legitimacy crisis affecting representative institutions worldwide. By contrast with other critical accounts since the 2008 financial crisis, this book shows that the current post-democratic drift is due neither to the hegemonic power acquired by neoliberal ideas nor to the pressures exercised by impersonal systemic forces. As result, it puts forward a political reading of change that casts a new light on both state activism and restructuring.


Table of Figures ix

Acknowledgements xi

Introduction xiii


Chapter One – Les Trente Glorieuses: The Post–War Settlement

and the Birth of the Welfare State 3

Chapter Two – Les Trente Furieuses: The Neoliberal Counter-Revolution

and the Politics of Depoliticisation 35

Chapter Three – From ‘Government’ to ‘Governance’: Change,

Rationalisation, Ideal Types 67


Chapter Four – Interpreting Political Change: Governance as a Research

Programme 101

Chapter Five – Governing by the Market: The Political Economy of the

Regulatory State 125

Chapter Six – Bringing Society Back In: The Political Sociology of the

Networked Polity 155


Chapter Seven – State, Globalisation and Governance: Rhetoric,

Contradictions, Paradoxes 199

Chapter Eight – Beyond Schumpeter: Delegation, Deliberation

and Post-Democracy 231

Chapter Nine – The Quest for Accountability: Democratic Politics

in Neoliberal Times 259

Conclusion: Self-Service Politics or Self-Serving Policy? 289

Bibliography 303

Index 335

Antonino Palumbo is a political theorist who has recently worked on globalisation, the transformation of governance and the implications of changes in state steering for modern representative democracies. He holds an MA in PPE and a PhD in Politics from the University of East Anglia. Since 2002 he has been lecturer in political philosophy at Palermo University (Italy). He is also Honorary Senior Research Associate in the Department of Political Science, School of Public Policy, University College London. His research interests are in analytical theories of the state, human rights and social justice; state, identity and democratic theory; neoliberalism, governance and applied ethics. His most recent works are: La Polity reticolare (XL Edizioni, 2011) and Globalizzazione e governance delle società multiculturali (co-edited with V. Segreto, Mimesis, 2011). He also is co-editor of Ashgate’s four-volume Library of Contemporary Essays in Political Theory and Public Policy.

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