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Anti-Politics, Depoliticization, and Governance$
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Paul Fawcett, Matthew Flinders, Colin Hay, and Matthew Wood

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780198748977

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198748977.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 19 January 2021

The Janus Face of Governance Theory

The Janus Face of Governance Theory

Depoliticizing or Repoliticizing Public Governance?

(p.28) 2 The Janus Face of Governance Theory
Anti-Politics, Depoliticization, and Governance

Eva Sørensen

Jacob Torfing

Oxford University Press

While the main current in the growing research on governance has praised its virtues, a critical undertow has insisted that governance carries the danger of depoliticization and democratic decline. Chapter 2 aims to complicate things by arguing that interactive forms of governance intending to involve a plethora of public and private actors in the governing of society and the economy are not in themselves depoliticizing or repoliticizing public governance. Much depends on how we talk about governance. Hence, while the public management perspective tends to depoliticize governance, the political science perspective has a sharper eye for the political choices, conflicts, and power struggles. If the political science perspective has a blind spot, it concerns the role of elected politicians in the exercise of political meta-governance. That role is further developed towards the end of the chapter, which also reflects on the limits of repoliticization.

Keywords:   governance, meta-governance, depoliticization, repoliticization, democracy

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