”Do Policy Networks Lead to Network Governance?”

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Abstract

This paper challenges a common understanding, implicit in many governance studies, that once policy networks are in place, the form of governing that follows is network governing. It is argued that policy networks may be understood as a way of organizing stakeholders and only under specifi c conditions may the governing mode in which the networks operate be termed network governing. Consequently, policy networks may subsist under other governing modes, for example, under a hierarchical mode. The present study uses actor-centred case studies in the area of Danish employment policy. Employment policy in Denmark is municipally implemented and the study found that the local governing mode was determined mainly by the municipality ’ s approach to local co-governing. Less important, but nevertheless significant, is the capacity and interest of key private actors. Thus it is argued that nationally mandated local policy networks are insuffi cient in themselves to assure network governing in all settings. The reasons hierarchical governing modes prevail over those of network governing are identifi ed and discussed in terms of agency and structure.
Original languageEnglish
JournalPublic Administration
Volume84
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)673-691
Number of pages18
ISSN0033-3298
Publication statusPublished - 2006
Externally publishedYes

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