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Complexity, Fragmentation, and UncertaintyGovernment Capacity in an Evolving State$
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Felicity Matthews

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199585991

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199585991.001.0001

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Governance in the Twenty-First Century

Governance in the Twenty-First Century

(p.228) 8 Governance in the Twenty-First Century
Complexity, Fragmentation, and Uncertainty

Felicity Matthews

Oxford University Press

This final chapter is devoted to considering the question posed at the outset: ‘To what extent do theories of governance encapsulate and account for the contemporary topography of the state?’ In doing so, the chapter posits a more refined understanding of state capacity that encapsulates both institutional and socio-political forms of control, leverage, and influence: a third wave of governance. The central focus of this third wave is ‘the paradox of state capacity’, which identifies and explores a simultaneous process through which states have sought to develop and foster new forms of central capacity whilst at the very same time transferring key control levers to a range of semi-independent organizational forms. Viewed from this perspective, the ‘paradox of state capacity’ develops the analytical leverage of existing scholarship, whilst illuminating the linkage between governance-related debates and broader socio-political concerns, including rising public expectations and the emergence of new policy challenges.

Keywords:   governance, government, paradox, state capacity, third wave

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