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Morphology and governance Abstract Governance Narrative Morphology Context Kevin Morrell, University of Birmingham Jonathan Grix, University of Birmingham.

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Presentation on theme: "Morphology and governance Abstract Governance Narrative Morphology Context Kevin Morrell, University of Birmingham Jonathan Grix, University of Birmingham."— Presentation transcript:

1 Morphology and governance Abstract Governance Narrative Morphology Context Kevin Morrell, University of Birmingham Jonathan Grix, University of Birmingham

2 Abstract A central proposition in orthodox theories of governance is that there has been a shift from government to governance. Indeed, this is sometimes how governance is understood. A challenge facing a general proposition such as this is that it is unbounded. Here we argue that the range and scope of this proposition needs to be qualified and empirically tested. Once we accept the premise that not all sectors will have made this shift in the same way, over the same time period, and to the same extent, we can develop a number of more nuanced theoretical propositions to frame future research. To do this we propose and develop a morphology of public sector services. Morphologies attempt to group and relate objects that are similar to one another into a general class or set. This offers scope to examine in greater detail the central proposition underpinning orthodox governance theory.

3 Context – the Governance Narrative First wave governance narrative = posited the retreat of governmental power and its dispersal among a wide variety of intermediary organisations Second wave = (Bevir and Rhodes) critique first wave by suggesting an interpretivist alternative, rejecting focus on institutions and structures Pioneering decentred approach sees government as only one of a number of key actors in governing the UK Decentred approach sought to restore individuals to the literature on network governance in contrast to the often agentless, technocratic accounts given in previous work

4 Our Approach Formalist (pejorative) associated with: Schklovski, Jakobson, Tynjanov, Eikhenbaum (Onega and Landa, 1996). Sociological & aesthetic critique (Greenfeld, 1987). Flourished 1920s (Erlich, 1980) suppressed 1930s. Tightly defined school, pace disagreements (Schmitz, 2007). E.g. some (Schklovski) felt literature a distinct category, others interested in texts (inc scientific writing, political speeches & texts) literariness (Bennett, 1989). Enormous influence - Jakobson & Prague Linguistic Circle developed forerunner to structuralism (Schmitz, 2007) + influence on Levi-Strauss work on structuralism in anthropology (Levi-Strauss, 1963). Derridas rejection of neutral categories of classification is a profound rejection of Formalism (Derrida, 1981). 20 th C: crystallisation > transcendence > negation of Formalist principles. Morphology – search for deeper structures/commonalities across phenomena.

5 An Example of Morphology – Folk Tales Before Propp Miller tales of: (i) fantasy, (ii) everyday life, and (ii) tales involving animals; Wundt:(i) mythological folk tales, (ii) pure fairy tales, (iii) biological tales and fables, (iv) pure animal fables, (v) genealogical tales, (vi) joke tales and (vii) moral fables. Volkov 15 kinds of fantastic tales (e.g. feature hero-fool, or 3 brothers, or magical objects, or search for a bride, or unfaithful wife. Aarne-Thompson index 7 kinds of fairy tale, e.g.: those that concern a supernatural adversary, those that concern a supernatural spouse, those that concern a supernatural task, those concerning a supernatural helper and so on.

6 The Problem and Solution Unstable categories so needed a deeper structural analysis to find commonalities – a Morphology Propp examined (i) characters and (ii) their functions Not all are present, but all the tales displayed the functions in unvarying sequence

7 1. A member of a family leaves home (the hero is introduced); 2. An interdiction is addressed to the hero ('don't go there', 'go to this place'); 3. The interdiction is violated (villain enters the tale); 4. The villain makes an attempt at reconnaissance; 5. The villain gains information about the victim; 6. The villain attempts to deceive the victim to take possession of victim or victim's belongings; 7. Victim taken in by deception, unwittingly helping the enemy; 8. Villain causes harm/injury to family member; or, a family member lacks or desires something ; 9. Misfortune or lack is made known; 10. Seeker agrees to, or decides upon counter-action; 11. Hero leaves home; 12. Hero is tested preparing the way for his/her receiving magical agent or helper (donor); 13. Hero reacts to actions of future donor; The 31 Functions

8 14. Hero acquires use of a magical agent; 15. Hero is transferred, delivered or led to whereabouts of an object of the search; 16. Hero and villain join in direct combat; 17. Hero is branded; 18. Villain is defeated; 19. Initial misfortune or lack is resolved; 20. Hero returns; 21. Hero is pursued; 22. Hero is rescued from pursuit; 23. Hero unrecognized, arrives home or in another country; 24. False hero presents unfounded claims; 25. Difficult task proposed to the hero; 26. Task is resolved; 27. Hero is recognized; 28. False hero or villain is exposed; 29. Hero is given a new appearance; 30. Villain is punished; 31. Hero marries and ascends the throne.

9 The Hero Is Transferred, Delivered, Or Led To The Whereabouts Of An Object Of Search (Propp, 1968: 50-1). The hero may fly through the air, either on horseback, or on a giant bird, or a flying carpet, or on the back of a giant, or a spirit, or in the carriage of the devil. They may go on the ground on foot or on the back of a horse, or wolf. They may have to climb a stairway, use an underground passageway, descend into the earth using leather straps, or a cat may go on the back of a dog, or a person with no hands may carry someone with no legs. They may travel on a ship or cross a body of water on the back of an enormous pike. They may be shown the way by a ball of thread, or a fox may lead the hero to the princess, or a hedgehog may point the way to a kidnapped brother, or they may follow a set of bloody footprints.


11 Method / Research Question can the broad propositions underpinning governance orthodoxy be empirically tested?. Propps method is so clearly identified with an influential and coherent approach > some common questions: stability of categories, challenge of identifying mutually exclusive and exhaustive categories. Even if it provokes disagreement it is engaging with something definite: a discrete sense of structural analysis, and clear affiliation to a body of ideas. Basic aim: explore extent to which a morphology of governance forms is possible. Case 1: Sports and use of morphology based on Aristotles Categories

12 Genus DE-CENTRALISED GOVERNANCE – Sport Policy Sector Species Divides into sector-specific interventions, reforms and modes of control, different foci for reform, different ways of evaluating the effects of reform and its success / failure Aspect REGIME Surface appearances suggest de-centralised governance exists; however, asymmetrical governance persists in partnerships and relations with policy community (elite and mass sport) ORGANIZATION The creation and proliferation of professionals working in sport policy has accompanied the process of increasing government involvement in sport POLITY A wide range of NDPBs have been created, along with partnerships, trusts and committees – all remain resource- dependent on the government, hence asymmetrical governance AUTHORITY The shift to governance has produced an array of enforced partnerships to which stakeholders have to belong in order to access funding; partnerships become seen as government agencies PropertiesHierarchicalProfessionalClan/Fiefdoms Partnerships but enforced AccidentFeatures that are non-necessary conditions for membership of the species.

13 Beyond the Governance Narrative? Some public policy sectors do not fit the notion of the dominant governance narrative Such deviant sectors (for example, sport, education, social housing) are often misread and misunderstood by commentators to mean a dispersal of government power among many actors The actual underlying power relations in deviant policy sectors are constituted in asymmetrical networks and partnerships (rather than the assumed diffusion of power which characterises the dominant governance narrative) The real power to make decisions, to decide on or how to deliver policy is held by the Government, not actors with significant autonomy from the state (Rhodes) This paper moves beyond a recognition that some policy sector do not fit the governance narrative ideal type

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