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Searching for Civil Society: Changing Patterns of Governance in Britain


Rhodes, RAW and Bevir, M, Searching for Civil Society: Changing Patterns of Governance in Britain, Public Administration, 81, (1) pp. 41-62. ISSN 0033-3298 (2003) [Refereed Article]

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DOI: doi:10.1111/1467-9299.00336


To understand governance, we ask who is telling the story from within which tradition. We argue there is no essentialist notion of governance but at least four conceptions each rooted in a distinctive tradition. The first section of the paper describes the relevant traditions: Tory, Liberal, Whig and Socialist. The second section describes the different notions of governance associated with each tradition; intermediate institutions, marketizing public services, reinventing the constitution and trust and negotiation. We explain these distinct conceptions of governance as responses to the dilemmas of inflation and state overload. In the conclusion, we summarize how and why traditions change, concluding, there is no such thing as governance, but only the differing constructions of the several traditions.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Research Division:Human Society
Research Group:Political science
Research Field:Comparative government and politics
Objective Division:Law, Politics and Community Services
Objective Group:Government and politics
Objective Field:Government and politics not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Rhodes, RAW (Professor Rod Rhodes)
ID Code:58849
Year Published:2003
Web of Science® Times Cited:43
Deposited By:Government
Deposited On:2009-10-30
Last Modified:2010-06-18

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