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The Rise of ‘New’ Policy Instruments in Comparative Perspective: Has Governance Eclipsed Government?

Jordan, Andrew; Wurzel, Rüdiger K. W.; Zito, Anthony


Andrew Jordan

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Professor Rudi Wurzel
Professor of Comparative European Politics and Jean Monnet Chair in European Union Studies.

Anthony Zito


Governance is a term in good currency, but there are still too few detailed empirical analyses of the precise extent to which it has or has not eclipsed government. This article explores the temporal and spatial characteristics of the governance transition by charting the deployment of new policy instruments in eight industrialised states and the European Union. The adoption and implementation of ('old' and 'new') policy instruments offer a useful analytical touchstone because governance theory argues that regulation is the quintessence of government. Although there are many 'new' environmental policy instruments in these nine jurisdictions, this article finds that the change from government to governance is highly differentiated across political jurisdictions, policy sectors and even the main instrument types. Crucially, many of the new policy instruments used require some state involvement (that is, 'government'), and very few are entirely devoid of state involvement (that is, pure 'governance'). Far from eclipsing government, governance therefore often complements and, on some occasions, even competes with it, although there are some cases of fusion. Future research should thus explore the many complex and varied ways in which government and governance interact in public policy-making.


Jordan, A., Wurzel, R. K. W., & Zito, A. (2005). The Rise of ‘New’ Policy Instruments in Comparative Perspective: Has Governance Eclipsed Government?. Political studies, 53(3), 477-496.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Oct 31, 2005
Online Publication Date Sep 20, 2005
Publication Date Oct 31, 2005
Print ISSN 0032-3217
Electronic ISSN 1467-9248
Publisher SAGE Publications
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 53
Issue 3
Pages 477-496
Keywords Sociology and Political Science
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