In the past two decades, governance theories have arisen semi-independently across multiple disciplines. In law and regulation, planning, democratic theory, economics, public management, and international relations, among other disciplines, scholars have sought to describe new strategies of governing. As a result, the term 'governance' is one of the most frequently used social science concepts in the world. No single theory encompasses this diverse body of work, but rather multiple theories with different aims and perspectives. The Handbook on Theories of Governance collects these theories of governance together as an analytical resource for scholars, students and practitioners. The Handbook advances a deeper theoretical understanding of governance processes while illuminating the interdisciplinary foundations of the field. By reviewing key theoretical concepts, the Handbook provides a basic conceptual toolkit for analyzing contemporary governance and offers important insights into how governance research contributes to social science theory development. By canvassing the different forms of governance, the chapters also reveal the diversity of contemporary governing practices. An epilogue identifies common themes across the chapters and points to opportunities for future research. In our increasingly complex, fragmented and dynamic society, this Handbook is a key resource for those who seek to deepen or broaden their theoretical understanding of governance. It will be a powerful aid for scholars, students and practitioners who wish to gauge the theoretical depth and breadth of governance studies.
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Edward Elgar Publishing Ltd