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Mark Considine The Power to Persuade Symposium Melbourne September 5 2012 Governance Networks and the Question of Transformation.

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Presentation on theme: "Mark Considine The Power to Persuade Symposium Melbourne September 5 2012 Governance Networks and the Question of Transformation."— Presentation transcript:

1 Mark Considine The Power to Persuade Symposium Melbourne September 5 2012 Governance Networks and the Question of Transformation

2 Some Big Questions How do we design a better system? 1.Efficient 2.Inclusive – public, private, civic. 3.Flexible – individuals & regions 4.Innovative – capacity to learn 5.Legitimate – accountable, popular.

3 Institutional development debates Different perspectives agree that transformational change is hard to explain, difficult to engineer. Legacy effects, path dependence and lock-ins are common in all systems. Most accounts emphasize shocks and upheavals as triggers for significant change. Institutions (mostly) restrain change?

4 If transformative change cannot be directed by our existing institutions and only by environmental shock, our capacity to respond to big probelms is limited. EG. Climate change, people movement, food security. Problem Definition

5 Douglass North, 1990. Institutions, Institutional Change and Economic Performance, ( Cambridge, CUP) –Branching points –Increasing returns –Combined effects Paul Pierson, 2004. Politics in Time: History, Institutions and social Analysis, ( Princeton University Press). –Politics produces ambiguous outcomes –‘Mental maps’ promote stored solutions –Politicians favour the short term. Path dependence

6 The Governance solution? One common response to the grid-lock problem has been to see governance and its improvement, as a way forward. Governance refers to the relations between institutions and actors and the patterns, opportunities and ‘leverage points’ provided by those relations.

7 Why Governance? World Bank first used the term governance in 1989 “as a kind of code, for the bank’s charter prevented it from talking about the domestic politics of its members.” By 1994 a bland and vague definition was focused upon the ‘management of resources’. Peter Lamour, 2005, Foreign Flowers: Institutional Transfer and Good Governance in the Pacific, University of Hawai’i Press, p.24.

8 Western Governance Perspectives Kooiman, 1993, Modern Governance: New Society-State Interactions, ( Sage, London ) –Steering achieved through horizontal means too –Complexity requires co-production –Legitimacy demands engagement Putnam, 1993, Making Democracy Work: Civic Traditions in Modern Italy, ( Princeton Uni Press ). –Social networks deliver embedded resources –Networks involve reciprocation thus trust –Networks cut transaction costs

9 China and Governance Yu Jian-xing & Wang Shi-zong, 2011, “The applicability of Governance Theory to China”, ( FJHSS, 4:1 ). “Heated debate” about applicability of G-theory due to Western notions of civil society, democracy etc G-theory also linked in positive way to ‘bottom-up’ approach – Kang & Han, 2005. Zang, 2003, is skeptical because governance presumes mature pluralistic institutions, spirit of democracy & compromise. Is mature civil society needed first, or comes from?

10 China, continued Can social institutions function well as ‘interest groups’ or are they too interconnected with state and party (White, 1993) ? Yu (1999) & Yu & Zhou, (2008) propose that greater independence may grow through participation in governance – not either/or. Jia & Huang, (2007) also note that the market opens China to new forms of freedom and thus to lifestyle choice etc.

11 Shared Problems Governance questions rely upon forms of effective independence within deep partnership But civil society sectors & networks prove hard to link to public institutions Lagging regions/excluded groups often lack networks Hard to get beyond small initiatives/policies.

12 Governance Networks: Institutional Types CooperativeCoordinativeCollaborative Territorial Development Data sharing on markets and shared conditions Joint marketing and promotion Common training and investment Resource Management Shared research, GIS etc Local Resource Management Plans Joint resource allocation & accountability Service DeliveryCommon client and program information Joint Service Plans Pooled budgets and shared KPIs

13 Some data Neighbourhood Renewal – 19 Vic communities - 87% of indicators showed improvement or reduced rate of deline (DHS:08) Communities for Children – NGOs in 45 Australian localities – improved outcomes partly because of increased services and better co-ordination. New Deal, Canada – failure to connect infrastructure with social goals

14 Local Partnership Architecture Problem identification and information sharing Shared projects – multilevel Stakeholder inclusion Democratic experimentation Main outcome is ‘improved governance’ (OECD)

15 Transformation Again If we designed good governance networks, could they manage transformation? Requirements: (1) some independence from other institutions (2) be inclusive of all key interests (3) have a history of joint work (4) be insulated from typical party-political competition.

16 Layering & ‘Hidden Alternatives’ The answer to path dependence is found in layered institutions with ‘stored alternatives’ The possible solution to lock-ins is ‘complementary configurations’ within networks The alternative to party-competition and short-termism is juridical-bureaucratic mandates for governance networks.


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