Trapped in the Complexity Bowl? Public Governance and the Liberal Art of Governing

Peter Triantafillou*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


For some time, academics have been discussing possible alternatives to new public managementunder headings such as network governance, collaborative governance, new public governance or,simply, public governance. This article seeks to better understand and critically discuss the rationalitiesof government supporting public governance. It argues that public governance is informed bya specific liberal rationality of government that differs from both classical liberalism and neoliberalism.Moreover, the diagnosis of societal complexity and concern for democratic self-government under-pinning public governance may entail the neglect of structural social problems, such as economicinequality, and the disqualification of other relevant forms of public intervention
Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Public Administration
Issue number14
Pages (from-to)1228-1236
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Bibliographical note

Important note from the Publisher regarding the attached version of the article (embargoed until March 2021) “This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in International Journal of Public Administration on 19 Sep 2019, available online:”


  • Public administration
  • Governmentality
  • Neoliberalism
  • Complexity
  • Self-governance

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