Governance Networks in Public Administration and Public Policy

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ISBN 9781420071269
Cat# AU7126



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  • Identifies the reforms and trends in governance that have given rise to the evolution of governance networks
  • Explains the roles and motivation that various actors take on through networked relationships
  • Promotes understanding of how policy tools mobilize governance networks
  • Describes the skills and functions of public administrators in this context of networked relationships
  • Presents relevant theoretical foundations to analyze governance networks



What do public administrators and policy analysts have in common? Their work is undertaken within networks formed when different organizations align to accomplish some kind of policy function. To be effective, they must find ways to navigate complexity and generate effective results. Governance Networks in Public Administration and Public Policy describes a variety of trends and movements that have contributed to the complexity of these systems and the challenges that must be faced as a result.

Providing a theoretical and empirical foundation in governance networks, the book offers a conceptual framework for describing governance networks and provides a holistic way to conceive their construction. The text details the skills and functions of public administrators in the context of networked relationships and presents the theoretical foundations to analyze governance networks. It identifies the reforms and trends in governing that led to governance networks, explains the roles that various actors take on through networked relationships, highlights the challenges involved in the failure of networked activities, and illustrates how policy tools are mobilized by these relationships.

Be a part of building governance networks 2.0!

The author’s website contains support materials such as PowerPoint® presentations, writable case study templates, and other useful items related to building the field’s capacity to describe, evaluate, and design governance networks using the framework of this book. You can post case studies of governance networks, draw on other’s case study materials, and learn about research and educational opportunities.

Based on research and real-life experience, the book highlights the interplay between public actors and policy tools. The authors demystify this complex topic of governance networks and explore the practical applications of the conceptual framework. Practical and accessible, the book presents concepts in such a way that readers can engage in these ideas, apply them, and deepen their understanding of the dynamics unfolding around them.

Table of Contents

The Emergence of Governance Networks: Historical Context, Contemporary Trends, and Considerations
Networks as an Inherent Property of the U.S. Government
Contemporary Trends Shaping Innovation in Governance Networks
Types of Networks Arising out of These Trends
The Stakes: Withering State or Democratic Anchorage?
Descriptive Considerations
Administrative Considerations
Accountability Considerations
Performance Considerations

Defining the Governance Network
Fundamentals of Social Network Analysis
The Place of Interorganizational Networks in Public Administration, Policy, and Governance Studies
The Networked Properties of Governance Processes
Discerning the Properties of Governance Networks
The Conceptual Architecture of the Book

Characteristics of Actors Participating within Governance Networks
Goal and Role Orientation of Network Actors
Social Sector
Geographic Scale
Scale of Social Nodes
Spanning Social Scales
Center, Periphery, and Trajectories
Variation in Actor Resources and Stock of Available Resources to/ Provided by Actors
Actor Characteristics: A Review

Characteristics of Ties between Actors
Social Exchange Theory
Resources Exchanged
Formality and the Coordination of Ties
Strength of Ties
Flow of Authority across Ties
Characteristics of Ties: A Review

Network-Wide Functions
Network-Wide Functions
Operating Functions
Policy Stream Functions
Policy Domain Functions
Network Functions: A Review

Network-Wide Structures
Policy Tools
Macro-Level Network Governance Structure
Configurations of Governance Network Structure
Intergovernmental Relations (IGRs)
Interest Group Coalitions (IGCs)
Regulatory Subsystems (RSSs)
Grant and Contract Agreements (GCAs)
Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs)
Regional and Geogovernance (GG)
Network Structures: A Review

Governance Networks as Complex Systems Dynamics
Permeability and Openness of Boundaries and Borders
System Boundaries
Input-Output Flows
The Medium of Feedback in Governance Networks
Network Governance as a Systems Construct
Governance Networks as Complex Adaptive Systems

How Are Governance Networks Managed?
The Convergence of Public Administration Paradigms
A Governance Network Administration Paradigm
Governance Network Administration (GNA) Strategies
Oversight and Mandating
Providing Resources
Negotiating and Bargaining
Participatory Governance
Boundary Spanning and Brokering
Systems Thinking
Decision Architectures, Communities of Practice, and Administrative Discretion
How Does Governance Network Administration Differ across Social Sectors?
Summary Implications for the Role of Managing Mixed-Actor Governance Networks

The Hybridized Accountability Regimes of Governance Networks

Governance and Accountability
Modes of Sector Governance
Corporate Governance
Nonprofit Governance
Governance of Governments
Democratic Anchorage
Accountability in Terms of Relationships between Network Actors
A Governance Network Accountability Framework
Overlapping Accountability Frames
Implications of Sector Blurring
Nonprofit-Government Accountability Alignments
Corporation-Government Accountability Alignments
Hybridization of Accountability Regimes

Governance Network Performance Management and Measurement
Governance and Performance
The Performance Measurement Movement
Performance Management Systems
Challenging the Performance Paradigm
Challenges for Performance Management Systems in Governance Networks
Using Data to Drive Decisions and Actions
Performance Management and Network Accountability

Governance Networks Analysis: Implications for Practice, Education, and Research
Deepening Our Situational Awareness of Governance Networks
Integration of Governance Network Analysis into Formal Education and Training
Case Study Analysis
Hypothesis Generation: Deductive Testing Leading to Generalization
Modeling Complex Governance Networks
Utilizing Action Research and Modeling to Inform Planning Design and Practice
Governance Networks, 2.0

Conclusion: Smart (Democratic) Governance Systems
Smart Systems as Ensuring Democratic Anchorage
Smart Systems as Governing Dynamic Networks
Appendix A: Governance Network Taxonomy
Appendix B: Case Study Template