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Governance Innovation and the Citizen: The Janus Face of


Governance-beyond-the-State
Erik Swyngedouw
Urban Stud 2005 42: 1991
DOI: 10.1080/00420980500279869

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Urban Studies, Vol. 42, No. 11, 1991– 2006, October 2005

Governance Innovation and the Citizen: The Janus


Face of Governance-beyond-the-State

Erik Swyngedouw
[Paper first received, June 2004; in final form, June 2005]

Summary. This paper focuses on the fifth dimension of social innovation—i.e. political
governance. Although largely neglected in the mainstream ‘innovation’ literature, innovative
governance arrangements are increasingly recognised as potentially significant terrains for
fostering inclusive development processes. International organisations like the EU and the World
Bank, as well as leading grass-roots movements, have pioneered new and more participatory
governance arrangements as a pathway towards greater inclusiveness. Indeed, over the past two
decades or so, a range of new and often innovative institutional arrangements has emerged, at a
variety of geographical scales. These new institutional ‘fixes’ have begun to challenge traditional
state-centred forms of policy-making and have generated new forms of governance-beyond-the-
state. Drawing on Foucault’s notion of governmentality, the paper argues that the emerging
innovative horizontal and networked arrangements of governance-beyond-the-state are
decidedly Janus-faced. While enabling new forms of participation and articulating the state –
civil society relationships in potentially democratising ways, there is also a flip side to the
process. To the extent that new governance arrangements rearticulate the state-civil society
relationship, they also redefine and reposition the meaning of (political) citizenship and,
consequently, the nature of democracy itself. The first part of the paper outlines the contours of
governance-beyond-the-state. The second part addresses the thorny issues of the state –civil
society relationship in the context of the emergence of the new governmentality associated with
governance-beyond-the-state. The third part teases out the contradictory way in which new
arrangements of governance have created new institutions and empowered new actors, while
disempowering others. It is argued that this shift from ‘government’ to ‘governance’ is
associated with the consolidation of new technologies of government, on the one hand, and with
profound restructuring of the parameters of political democracy on the other, leading to a
substantial democratic deficit. The paper concludes by suggesting that socially innovative
arrangements of governance-beyond-the-state are fundamentally Janus-faced, particularly under
conditions in which the democratic character of the political sphere is increasingly eroded by the
encroaching imposition of market forces that set the ‘rules of the game’.

1. Introduction: Towards Governance- new formal or informal institutional arrange-


beyond-the-State ments that engage in the act of govern-
In recent years, a proliferating body of ing outside and beyond-the-state (Rose and
scholarship has attempted to theorise and Miller, 1992; Mitchell, 2002; Jessop, 1998;
substantiate empirically the emergence of Pagden, 1998; Hajer, 2003a; UNESCAP,
Erik Swyngedouw is in the School of Geography and the Environment, University of Oxford, Mansfield Road, Oxford, OX1 3TB, UK.
Fax: þ44 (0)1865 271929. E-mail: erik.swyngedouw@geog.ox.ac.uk. The author would like to thank Pasquale de Muro, Julia
Gerometta, Sara González, Patsy Healey, Maria Kaika, Flavia Martinelli, Frank Moulaert, Johan Moyersoen and Morag Torrance
for their assistance, helpful comments and suggestions. Of course, only the author is responsible for the content. The author also
wishes to to thank the EU’s Framework V programme for providing the funding to make the research possible.
0042-0980 Print=1360-063X Online=05=111991 –16 # 2005 The Editors of Urban Studies
DOI: 10.1080=00420980500279869
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1992 ERIK SWYNGEDOUW

2004; Whitehead, 2003; González and Healey, associated with the rise of a neo-liberal govern-
this issue; SINGOCOM, 2005; Moulaert et al., mental rationality and the transformation of
this issue). Governance-beyond-the-state the technologies of government.
refers in this context to the emergence, Governance as an arrangement of governing-
proliferation and active encouragement (by beyond-the-state (but often with the explicit
the state and international bodies like the inclusion of parts of the state apparatus) is
European Union or the World Bank) of insti- defined in the context of this paper as
tutional arrangements of ‘governing’ which the socially innovative institutional or quasi-
give a much greater role in policy-making, institutional arrangements of governance that
administration and implementation to private are organised as horizontal associational
economic actors on the one hand and to parts networks of private (market), civil society
of civil society on the other in self-managing (usually NGO) and state actors (Dingwerth,
what until recently was provided or organised 2004). These forms of apparently horizontally
by the national or local state. In addition, as organised and polycentric ensembles in
argued in other papers in this issue, socially which power is dispersed are increasingly
innovative practices in urban governance and prevalent in rule-making, rule-setting and
territorial development are also invariably rule implementation at a variety of geographi-
associated with the emergence of new insti- cal scales (Hajer, 2003b, p. 175). They are
tutional forms that draw heavily on a greater found from the local/urban level (such as
involvement of individuals or actors from development corporations, ad hoc committees,
both the economy and civil society (Moulaert stakeholder-based formal or informal associ-
et al., 2005). In a context of perceived or real ations dealing with social, economic, infra-
‘state failure’ on the one hand and attempts structural, environmental or other matters) to
to produce systems of ‘good’ governance on the transnational scale (such as the European
the other, institutional ensembles of govern- Union, the WTO, the IMF or the Kyoto proto-
ance based on such horizontally networked col negotiations) (Swyngedouw, 1997). They
tripartite composition are viewed as empower- exhibit an institutional configuration based
ing, democracy enhancing and more effective on the inclusion of private market actors,
forms of governing compared with the sclero- civil society groups and parts of the ‘tra-
tic, hierarchical and bureaucratic state forms ditional’ state apparatus. These modes of
that conducted the art of governing during governance have been depicted as a new
much of the 20th century. While these innova- form of governmentality, that is ‘the conduct
tive figures of governance often offer the of conduct’ (Foucault, 1982; Lemke, 2002),
promise of greater democracy and grassroots in which a particular rationality of governing is
empowerment, they also exhibit a series of combined with new technologies, instruments
contradictory tendencies. It is exactly these and tactics of conducting the process of
tensions and contradictions that this paper collective rule-setting, implementation and
will focus on. often including policing as well. However,
While much of the analysis of a changing, if as Maarten Hajer argues, these arrangements
not new, governmentality (or governmental take place within an ‘institutional void’
rationality; see Gordon, 1991) starts from the
There are no clear rules and norms accord-
vantage-point of how the state is reorganised
ing to which politics is to be conducted
and mobilises a new set of ‘technologies of
and policy measures are to be agreed upon.
governing’ to respond to changing socioeco-
To be precise, there are no generally accepted
nomic and cultural conditions, this paper
rules and norms according to which policy-
seeks to assess the consolidation of new
making and politics is to be conducted
forms of governance capacity and the associ-
(Hajer, 2003b, p. 175; original emphasis).
ated changes in governmentality (Foucault,
1979) in the context of the rekindling of the The urban scale has been a pivotal terrain
governance–civil society articulation that is where these new arrangements of governance

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GOVERNANCE INNOVATION 1993

have materialised in the context of the emer- social movements, and ‘insurgent’ planners
gence of innovative social movements on the (see Sandercock, 1998)” (Goonewardena and
one hand and transformations in the arrange- Rankin, 2004, p. 118; see also Novi and
ments of conducting governance on the other Leubolt, this issue). It is exactly this interplay
(Le Galès, 1995; Brenner and Theodore, between the empowering gestalt of such new
2002; Jessop 2002a). Much of the empirical governance arrangements on the one hand
and case study research on which this paper and their position within a broadly neo-
draws was undertaken in the context of liberal political-economic order on the other
two major European-Union-funded research that this paper seeks to tease out.
projects on urban development and urban In the first part of the paper, we outline the
governance (see Moualert et al., 2001, 2002, contours of governance-beyond-the-state. In
2006; SINGOCOM, 2005; see also other the subsequent part, we address the thorny
papers in this issue). The main objective of issues of the state– civil society relationship
this paper is to address and problematise in the context of the emergence of the new
these emerging new regimes of (urban) governmentality associated with governance-
governance with a particular emphasis on beyond-the-state. In the third part, we tease
changing political citizenship rights and out the contradictory way in which new
entitlements on the one hand, and their arrangements of governance have created
democratic credentials on the other. Our new institutions and empowered new actors,
focus will be on the contradictory nature of while disempowering others. We argue that
governance-beyond-the-state and, in particu- this shift from ‘government’ to ‘governance’
lar, on the tension between the stated objec- is associated with the consolidation of new
tive of increasing democracy and citizen’s technologies of government (Dean, 1999), on
empowerment on the one hand and their the one hand, and with profound restructuring
often undemocratic and authoritarian charac- of the parameters of political democracy on
ter on the other. This analysis is particularly the other, leading to a substantial democratic
pertinent as the inclusion of civil society deficit. Hence, this mode of governance
organisations (like NGOs) in systems of entails a transformation of both the institutions
(urban) governance, combined with a greater and the mechanisms of participation, nego-
political and economic role of ‘local’ political tiation and conflict intermediation (Coaffee
and economic arrangements, is customarily and Healey, 2003). Participation, then, is one
seen as potentially empowering and democra- of the key terrains on which battles over the
tising (Le Galès, 2002; Hajer, 2003a; Novy form of governance and the character of
and Leubolt, this issue). These forms of regulation are currently being fought out
governance are innovative and often promis- (Docherty et al., 2001; Raco, 2000). We shall
ing in terms of delivering improved collective conclude by suggesting that socially innova-
services and they may indeed contain germs tive arrangements of governance-beyond-
of ideas that may permit greater open- the-state are fundamentally Janus-faced,
ness, inclusion and empowerment of hitherto particularly under conditions in which the
excluded or marginalised social groups. democratic character of the political sphere
However, there are equally strong processes is increasingly eroded by the encroaching
at work pointing in the direction of a greater imposition of market forces that set the
autocratic governmentality (Swyngedouw, ‘rules of the game’.
1996, 2000; Harvey, 2005) and an impover-
ished practice of political citizenship. These
2. Governance-beyond-the-State:
socially innovative forms of governance are
Networked Associations
both actively encouraged and supported by
agencies pursuing a neo-liberal agenda (like It is now widely accepted that the system of
the IMF or the World Bank) and “designate governing within the EU and its constituent
the chosen terrain of operations for NGOs, parts is undergoing rapid change (European

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1994 ERIK SWYNGEDOUW

Commission, 2001; Cars et al., 2002; Le direction of their interests (Paquet, 2001,
Galès, 2002). Although the degree of change quoted in Hamel, 2003, p. 378; author’s
and the depth of its impact are still contested, translation)
it is beyond doubt that the 19th and 20th
From this perspective, it is not surprising to
century political formations of articulating
find that such modes of ‘governance-beyond-
the state– civil society relationship through
the-state’ are resolutely put forward as pre-
different forms of representative demo-
senting an idealised normative model (see
cracy, which vested power in hierarchically
Le Galès, 1995; Schmitter, 2000, 2002) that
structured transcendental state-forms, is
promises to fulfil the conditions of good
complemented by a proliferating number of
government (European Commission, 2001)
new institutional forms of governing that
“in which the boundary between organisations
exhibit rather different characteristics
and public and private sectors has become
(Jessop, 1995, 2002b; Kooiman, 1995, 2003;
permeable” (Stoker, 1998, p. 38). It implies
Grote and Gbikpi, 2002). In other words, the
a common purpose, joint action, a framework
Westphalian state order that matured in
of shared values, continuous interaction and
the 20th century in the form of the liberal-
the wish to achieve collective benefits that
democratic state, organised at local, often
cannot be gained by acting independently
also at regional, and national scales, has
(Stoker, 1998; Rakodi, 2003). This model
begun to change in important ways, resulting
is related to a view of ‘governmentality’ that
in new forms of governmentality, character-
considers the mobilisation of resources (ideo-
ised by a new articulation between state-like
logical, economic, cultural) from actors
forms (such as—for example, the EU, urban
operating outside the state system as a vital
development corporations and the like), civil
part of democratic, efficient and effective
society organisations and private market
government (Pierre, 2000a, 2000b). Schmitter
actors (Brenner et al., 2003). While the
continues to argue that, in a normative-
traditional state form in liberal democracies
idealised manner,
is theoretically and practically articulated
through forms of political citizenship which Governance arrangements are based on a
legitimise state power by means of it being common and distinctive set of features:
vested within the political voice of the citi-
—Horizontal interaction among presump-
zenry, the new forms of governance exhibit
tive equal participants without distinc-
a rather fundamentally different articulation
tion between their public or private
between power and citizenship and constitute,
status.
according to Lemke (2001, 2002), a new form
—Regular, iterative exchanges among a
of governmentality. As Schmitter defines it
fixed set of independent but interdepen-
Governance is a method/mechanism for dent actors.
dealing with a broad range of problems/ —Guaranteed (but possibly selective)
conflicts in which actors regularly arrive access, preferably as early as possible
at mutually satisfactory and binding deci- in the decision-making cycle.
sions by negotiating with each other and —Organized participants that represent
co-operating in the implementation of categories of actors, not individuals
these decisions (Schmitter, 2002, p. 52) (Schmitter, 2000, p. 4).

Paquet defines governance as State-based arrangements are hierarchical and


top –down (command-and-control) forms of
The newly emerging models of action setting rules and exercising power (but
result from the concerted combination of recognised as legitimate via socially agreed
social actors coming form diverse milieus conventions of representation, delegation,
(private, public, civic) with the objective accountability and control) and mobilising
to influence systems of action in the technologies of government involving

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GOVERNANCE INNOVATION 1995

policing, bio-political knowledge and bureau- symptomatically oblivious to the contradictory


cratic rule. Governance-beyond-the-state tensions in which these forms of governance
systems, in contrast, are presumably horizon- are embedded. These new practices are riddled
tal, networked and based on interactive with all manner of problems, particularly
relations between independent and interdepen- with respect to their democratic content. As
dent actors who share a high degree of trust, such arrangements are often imposed (from
despite internal conflict and oppositional above), there is widespread distrust, particu-
agendas, within inclusive participatory larly as rules and norms are not agreed, but
institutional or organisational associations. decided under non-codified and often informal
The mobilised technologies of governance ad hoc principles (Hirst, 1995; Dryzek, 2000;
revolve around reflexive risk-calculation (self- Akkerman et al., 2004). Before we embark
assessment), accountancy rules and accoun- on considering the democratic credentials of
tancy-based disciplining, quantification and such institutional ensembles, we need to turn
benchmarking of performance (Dean, 1999). our attention, first, to how these innovations
The participants in such forms of govern- in the arrangements of the ‘conduct of conduct’
ance partake (or are allowed to partake) in articulate with changing choreographies of
these relational networked forms of decision- civil society–state interaction and, secondly,
making on the basis of the ‘stakes’ they hold to the emergence of these new forms of govern-
with respect to the issues these forms of ance in the context of broader processes of
governance attempt to address. The relevant political-economic regime changes.
term ‘stakeholder’ has gained currency in
recent years and propelled its associated poli-
3. Articulating State, Market and Civil
tics of ‘stakeholder’ governance to the fore-
Society
front of the political platform (Newman,
2001). According to Schmitter (2000), the Bob Jessop (2002b) argues that the ‘state’ is
shift from ‘political citizenship’ articulated capitalism’s necessary ‘other’. For him, the
through statist forms of governing to a ‘stake- social relations that produce and sustain capi-
holder’-based polity does not go far enough. talist economic forms require extra-economic
He proposes, therefore, an enlarged approach rules and institutions to function. These insti-
by introducing the notion of ‘holder’, which tutions can take a variety of forms, the
should constitute the foundation for establish- national liberal democratic state form that
ing rights or entitlements to participate. dominated the West from the late 19th
Table 1 summarises Schmitter’s extended century onwards being just one of them. So,
formulation. while state and market can be separated con-
Of course, such an idealised-normative ceptually, they are functionally and strategi-
model of horizontal, non-exclusive and par- cally intimately interconnected. In addition
ticipatory (stake)holder-based governance is to state and market, there is also the sum

Table 1. Schmitter’s matrix of definitions of ‘holders’


Right-holders participate because they are members of a national political community
Space-holders participate because they live somewhere affected by the policy
Knowledge-holders participate because they have particular knowledge about the matter concerned
Share-holders participate because they own part of the assets that are going to be affected
Stake-holders participate because, regardless of their location or nationality, they might be affected by
change
Interest-holders participate on behalf of other people because they understand the issues
Status-holders participate on behalf of other people because they are given a specific representative role
by the authorities

Source: Schmitter (2000).

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1996 ERIK SWYNGEDOUW

total of social forms and relations that are through a system of pluralist democratic
neither state nor market. These are usually controls, civil society emerged as both an
captured under the notion of ‘civil society’. arena for state intervention and a collection
There is considerable confusion about the of actors engaging with and relating to the
status, content and position of ‘civil society’, state (Lemke, 2001). At the same time, the
both analytically and empirically. This con- liberal state maintained the ‘economic’
fusion arises partly from the meandering sphere as a fundamentally ‘private’ one, opera-
history of the concept, partly from the chan- ting outside the collective sphere of the state
ging position of civil society within political but shaping the material conditions of civil
society (see Novy and Leubolt, this issue). life in a decisive manner. The social order,
While the early Enlightenment view of ‘civil consequently, became increasingly seen and
society’ posited ‘civil’ society versus constructed as the articulation between state,
‘natural’ society, Hegel and Marx considered civil society and market. While for Hegel
civil society as a set of economic/material and Marx, albeit in very different ways, the
relations versus the state. Of course, this ideal of society resided in transcending the
change in perspective was in itself related to separation between the ‘political state’ and
the changing nature of the state (from a ‘civil society’, the operation of the economy,
‘sovereign’ to a bio-political state—i.e. from under the hidden hand of the market in
a (feudal) state focused on the integrity of its liberal-capitalist societies, rendered this desi-
territorial control to one operating allegedly red unity of state and civil society impossible.
in the ‘interest of all for the benefit of all’). In fact, a fuzzy terrain was produced, some-
Liberal thinkers, like Alexis de Tocqueville, where in-between, but articulating with, state
in turn, associated ‘civil society’ with volun- and market, but irreducible to either; a
tary organisations and associations. In con- terrain that was neither state nor private, yet
trast, with Antonio Gramsci, writing at the expressing a diverse set of social activities
time of the embryonic formation of the and infused with all manner of social power
liberal-democratic Keynesian-welfarist state, relations, tensions, conflict and social
civil society became viewed as one of the struggles. Civil society is, in other words,
three components (the others being the state the pivotal terrain from which social transfor-
and the market) that define the content and mative and innovative action emerges and
structure of society (Gramsci, 1971). For where social power relations are contested
him, civil society is the sum total of private and struggled over. The relative boundaries
actors (outside state and market) and constitu- between these three instances (i.e. state, civil
tes the terrain of social struggle for hegemony society and market) vary significantly from
(Showstack Sassoon, 1987; Simon, 1991; time to time and from place to place. The
MacLeod, 1999). Moreover, both ‘civil notion of civil society, therefore, also cannot
society’ and its meaning are also closely be understood independently of the relations
related to the Foucaultian notion of ‘govern- between political and economic power, the
mentality’. Indeed, with the rise of the first articulated in terms of access to or
liberal state in the 18th century, civil society control over the state apparatus, the latter in
became increasingly associated with the terms of access to or control over resources
object of state-governing as well as being per- for accumulation (whether in the form of
ceived as the foundation from which the monetary, physical, cultural or social capital).
state’s legitimacy was claimed. In addition, In sum, the position and role of civil society
as the state turned increasingly into a bio- are closely related to the dynamics of
political democratic state, concerned with other ‘moments’ of society—i.e. state and
and intervening in the ‘life qualities’ of its economy. At moments of increasing socio-
citizens (health, education, disciplining, economic tension and restructuring (such as
socioeconomic well-being, among others) during the 1920s/1930s or 1980s/1990s), the
from whom the state draws its legitimacy ‘conduct of conduct’ changes in such a way

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GOVERNANCE INNOVATION 1997

that continued sustained accumulation can be reshaping of ‘governing’ under, neo-liberalism.


maintained or improved, but without under- Lemke summarises the emerging new articula-
mining the relative coherence or stability of tion between state and civil society under a
the social order. Successful restructuring of neo-liberal governmentality as follows
capitalism demands, therefore, strong ‘gov-
ernance’ in order to produce stronger ‘econ- By means of the notion of governmentality,
omic dynamics’ (understood in market the neo-liberal agenda for the ‘withdrawal
economy terms) while maintaining cohesion of the state’ can be deciphered as a
in civil society. Such restructuring of ‘govern- technique for government. The crisis of
ance’ often takes place at exactly the time that Keynesianism and the reduction in forms
civil society goes through painful shocks of welfare-state intervention therefore lead
associated with that restructuring; shocks less to the state losing powers of regulation
that further undermine the legitimacy of the and control (in the sense of a zero-sum
state and reinforce calls for alternative game) and can instead be construed as a
models of ‘governance’. In other words, ‘gov- re-organisation or restructuring of govern-
erning’ becomes more problematic and the ment techniques, shifting the regulatory
terrains of governance begin to shift (see Pou- competence of the state onto ‘responsible’
lantzas, 1980). The state can become more and ‘rational’ individuals. Neoliberalism
authoritarian (as happens with fascism) or encourages individuals to give their lives
more autocratic, while delegating power and a specific entrepreneurial form. It responds
including new strata of civil society in the to stronger ‘demand’ for individual scope
forms of governance (as is happening at for determination and desired autonomy
present) (Harvey, 2005). by ‘supplying’ individuals and collectives
Foucault’s notion of governmentality may with the possibility of actively participating
help to chart recent changes in the state–civil in the solution of specific matters and pro-
society relationship and the emergence of blems which had hitherto been the domain
arrangements of governance-beyond-the-state of specialized state agencies specifically
(Donzelot, 1991; Pagden, 1998). For Foucault, empowered to undertake such tasks. This
governmentality refers to the rationalities and participation has a ‘pricetag’: the individ-
tactics of governing and how they become uals themselves have to assume responsibil-
expressed in particular technologies of ity for these activities and the possible
governing, such as—for example, the state failure thereof (Lemke, 2001, p. 202; see
(Foucault, 1984). The state, therefore, appears also Donzelot, 1984, pp. 157– 177 and
in Foucault’s analysis as a “tactics of govern- 1996; Burchell, 1993, pp. 275– 276).
ment, as a dynamic form and historical stabilis- Elsewhere, Lemke argues how a Foucaultian
ation of societal power relations” (Lemke, perspective permits a view of neo-liberalism
2002, p. 60). Governmentality, therefore, is not as
at once internal and external to the state,
the end but a transformation of politics that
since it is the tactics of government which
restructures the power relations in society.
make possible the continual definition and
What we observe today is not a diminish-
redefinition of what is within the competence
ment or reduction of state sovereignty and
of the state and what is not, the public versus
planning capacities, but a displacement
the private, and so on; thus the state can only
from formal to informal techniques of
be understood in its survival and its limits on
government and the appearance of new
the basis of the general tactics of govern-
actors on the scene of government (e.g.
mentality (Foucault, 1991, p. 103).
NGOs), that indicate fundamental trans-
Foucault’s analysis of neo-liberal reason and formations in statehood and a renewed
neo-liberal governmentality exactly excavates relation between state and civil society
the changing role of the state in, and the actors (Lemke, 2002, p. 50).

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1998 ERIK SWYNGEDOUW

This ‘destatisation’ (Jessop, 2002b) of a series new articulations between state, market and
of former state domains and their transfer civil society generate new forms of gover-
to civil society organisations redefines the nance that combine the three ‘moments’ of
state– civil society relationship through the society in new and often innovative ways
formation of new forms of governance- (Brenner, 2004; Swyngedouw, 2004).
beyond-the-state. This encompasses a three- Of course, the new modalities of govern-
fold reorganisation (Swyngedouw, 1997, ance also involve the mobilisation, by the
2004; see also Lemke, 2002). First is the state, of a new set of technologies of power,
externalisation of state functions through which Mitchell Dean (1999) identifies as
privatisation and deregulation (and decentrali- technologies of agency and technologies of
sation). Both mechanisms inevitably imply performance. While the former refers to strat-
that non-state, civil society or market-based egies of rendering the individual actor respon-
configurations become increasingly involved sible for his or her own actions, the latter
in regulating, governing and organising a refers to the mobilisation of benchmarking
series of social, economic and cultural activi- rules that are set as state-imposed parameters
ties. Second is the up-scaling of governance against which (self-)assessment can take
whereby the national state increasingly place and which require the conduct of a
delegates regulatory and other tasks to other particular set of performances. These technol-
and higher scales or levels of governance ogies of performance produce ‘calculating
(such as the EU, IMF, WTO and the like) individuals’ within ‘calculable spaces’ and
and, third, is the down-scaling of governance incorporated within ‘calculative regimes’
to ‘local’ practices and arrangements that (Miller, 1992). Barbara Cruikshank (1993,
create greater local differentiation combined 1994) refers in this context to the mobilisation
with a desire to incorporate new social of ‘technologies of citizenship’, which are
actors in the arena of governing. This includes defined as
processes of vertical decentralisation towards
the multiple techniques of self-esteem, of
sub-national forms of governance (see
empowerment and of consultation and
Moulaert et al., 2002; or SINGOCOM, 2005,
negotiation that are used in activities as
for a range of case studies).
diverse as community development, social
These three processes of rearrangement of
and environmental impact assessment,
the relationship between state, civil society
health promotion campaigns, teaching at
and market, simultaneously reorganise the
all levels, community policing, the combat-
arrangements of governance as new institu-
ing of various kinds of dependency and so
tional forms of governance-beyond-the-state
on (Dean, 1999, p. 168).
are set up and become part of the system of
governing, of organising the ‘conduct of Ironically, while these technologies are often
conduct’. This restructuring is embedded in advocated and mobilised by NGOs and other
a consolidating neo-liberal ideological civil organisations speaking for the disempow-
polity. The latter combines a desire to con- ered or socially excluded (Carothers et al.,
struct politically the market as the preferred 2000), these actors often fail to see how these
social institution of resource mobilisation instruments are an integral part of the con-
and allocation, a critique of the ‘excess’ of solidation of an imposed and authoritarian
state associated with Keynesian welfarism, neo-liberalism, celebrating the virtues of self-
and a bio-political engineering of the social managed risk, prudence, and self-responsibility
in the direction of greater individualised (Castel, 1991; O’Malley, 1992; Burchell, 1996;
responsibility (Harvey, 2005). Of course this Dean, 1995, 1999).
scalar reorganisation of the state and the To the extent that ‘participation’ is
associated emergence of a neo-liberal govern- invariably mediated by ‘power’ (whether poli-
ance-beyond-the-state redefine in fundamental tical, economic, gender or cultural) among
ways the state– civil society relationship. The participating ‘holders’, between levels of

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GOVERNANCE INNOVATION 1999

governance/government and between govern- ad hoc and context-dependent ways and


ing institutions, civil society and encroaching differ greatly from those associated with
market power, the analysis and understanding pluralist democratic rules and codes. While
of shifting relations of power are a central the democratic lacunae of pluralist liberal
concern, particularly in light of the link democracy are well known, the procedures
between participation, social innovation and of democratic governing are formally codi-
development (see Getimis and Kafkalas, fied, transparent and easily legible. The
2002). Since it is impossible within the remit modus operandi of networked associations is
of this paper to exhaust the possible theoris- much less clear. Moreover, the internal
ations and perspectives on social and political power choreography of systems of govern-
power, we focus on the principles that funda- ance-beyond-the-state is customarily led by
mentally shape individuals’ or social groups’ coalitions of economic, socio-cultural or poli-
position within the polity and that articulate tical élites (Swyngedouw et al., 2002). There-
their respective (but interrelated) power fore, the rescaling of policy transforms
positions vis-à-vis governing institutions, on existing power geometries, resulting in a
the one hand, and within civil society, on new constellation of governance articulated
the other. In particular, in what follows, we via a proliferating maze of opaque networks,
take the theoretical and practical yardsticks fuzzy institutional arrangements, ill-defined
of what constitute democratic government responsibilities and ambiguous political objec-
together with the practices associated with tives and priorities. In fact, it is the state that
arrangements of governance-beyond-the-state. plays a pivotal and often autocratic role in
transferring competencies (and consequently
in instantiating the resulting changing power
4. The Democratic Deficit of Governance-
geometries) and in arranging these new net-
beyond-the-State
worked forms of governance. The democratic
Whilst in pluralist democracy, the political fallacies of the pluralist ‘democratic’ state
entitlement of the citizen is articulated via are compounded by the expansion of the
the twin condition of ‘national’ citizenship, realm of ‘governing’ through the proliferation
on the one hand, and the entitlement to politi- of such asymmetric governance-beyond-the-
cal participation in a variety of ways (but state arrangements. In fact, when assessing
primarily via a form of (constitutionally or the formal requirements of pluralist demo-
otherwise) codified representational democ- cracy against the modes of arrangements of
racy) on the other, network-based forms of governance-beyond-the-state, the contradic-
governance do not (yet) have codified rules tory configurations of these networked associ-
and regulations that shape or define partici- ations come to the fore and show the possible
pation and identify the exact domains or perverse effects or, at least, the contradictory
arenas of power (Hajer, 2003a). As Beck character of many of these shifts. That is
(1999, p. 41) argues, these practices are what we turn to next.
full of “unauthorized actors”. While such
absence of codification potentially permits
4.1 Entitlement and Status
and elicits socially innovative forms of
organisation and of governing, it also opens The first question revolves around ‘entitle-
up a vast terrain of contestation and potential ment’ and ‘status’. While the concept of
conflict that revolves around the exercise of (stake)‘holder’ is inclusive and presumably
(or the capacity to exercise) entitlements and exhaustive, the actual concrete forms of
institutional power. The status, inclusion or governance are necessarily constrained and
exclusion, legitimacy, system of represen- limited in terms of who can, is, or will be
tation, scale of operation and internal or allowed to participate. Hence, status and
external accountability of such groups or indi- assigning or appropriating entitlement to parti-
viduals often take place in non-transparent, cipate, are of prime importance. In particular,

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2000 ERIK SWYNGEDOUW

assigning ‘holder’ status to an individual or in networks of ‘governance’ have widely


social group is not neutral in terms of exercis- diverging mechanisms of deciding on repre-
ing power. In most cases, entitlements are con- sentation and organising feedback to their
ferred upon participants by those who already constituencies. To the extent that it is pri-
hold a certain power or status. Of course, the marily civil society organisations that partici-
degree to which mobilisations of this kind are pate in governance, their alleged insertion
successful depends, inter alia, on the degree into grassroots civil society power, is much
of force and/or power such groups or indivi- more tenuous than is generally assumed. In
duals can garner and on the willingness of the fact, it proves to be extremely difficult to
existing participants to agree to include them. disentangle the lines of representation (and
In addition, the terms of participation may mechanisms of consultation and accounta-
vary significantly from mere consultation to bility that are directly related to the form of
the right to vote. Needless to say, status representation) through which groups (or indi-
within the participatory rituals co-determines viduals) claim entitlement to ‘holder’ status
effective power positionality. More fundamen- (and, hence, to participation) or are assigned
tally, while political citizenship-based entitle- ‘holder’ status. This, of course, opens up a
ments are (formally) inclusive (at least at a space of power for the effective participants
national level) and are based on a ‘one person within the organisation that is not at all, or
one vote’ rule, holder entitlements are invari- only obliquely, checked by clear lineages of
ably predicated upon willingness to accept representation.
groups as participants, on the one hand, but
also on willingness-to-participate on the
other. The latter of course depends crucially
4.3 Accountability
on the perceived or real position of power
that will be accorded to incumbent participants. Thirdly and directly related to the above, the
This is a context in which, partly through the mechanisms and lineages of accountability
erosion of political power (compared with are radically redrawn in arrangements of
other forms of power) and partly through governance-beyond-the-state (Rhodes, 1999;
an emerging more problematic relationship Rakodi, 2003). Again, while a democratic
between state and civil society, many indivi- polity has more or less clear mechanisms for
duals and social groups have fully or partially establishing accountability, ‘holder’ repre-
‘opted-out’ of political participation and have sentation fundamentally lacks explicit lines
chosen either other forms of political action of accountability. In fact, accountability is
or plain rejection. Deep ecologists, part of the assumed to be internalised within the parti-
alternative globalisation and anti-capitalist cipating groups through their insertion into
movements and even segments of the ‘social (particular segments) of civil society (through
economy’ sectors, have gone in this direction which their holder status is defined and
(Hertz, 2002). legitimised). However, given the diffuse and
opaque systems of representation, account-
ability is generally very poorly, if at all, deve-
4.2 The Structure of Representation
loped. In other words, effective representation
Secondly, in addition to decisions over has to be assumed, is difficult to verify and
entitlement to participate, the structure of practically impossible to challenge. The
representation is of crucial importance. While combined outcome of this leads to often
pluralist democratic systems exhibit clear more autocratic, non-transparent systems
and mutually agreed forms of representation, of governance that—as institutions—wield
‘holder’ participation suffers from an ill- considerable power and, thus, assign consider-
defined and diffuse notion of an actual able, albeit internally uneven power, to those
system of representation (Edwards, 2002). who are entitled (through a selective random
Various groups and individuals participating process of invitation) to participate.

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GOVERNANCE INNOVATION 2001

4.4 Legitimacy relational choreographies of participation/


exclusion are clearly significant. When
This brings the argument directly to the
governance-beyond-the-state involves pro-
centrality of legitimation. The mechanisms
cesses of ‘jumping scales’ (Smith, 1984)—
of legitimation of policies and/or regulatory
that means the transfer of policy domains to
interventions become very different from
sub-national or transnational forms of govern-
those of representational pluralist democracy.
ance—the choreography of actors changes
To the extent that legitimation does not result
as well. As Hajer (2003a, p. 179) contends,
from the organisation of entitlement, repre-
scale jumping is a vital strategy to gain
sentation and accountability, these new
power or influence in a multiscalar relational
forms of governance face considerable
organisation of networks of governance. For
internal and external problems with respect
example, where national urban policy increas-
to establishing legitimacy. In fact, this has
ingly replaced ‘local public–private partner-
been a long-running problem for many of
ships’, the types of social actor and their
the new forms of governance, particularly as
positions within the geometries of power
coercion and the legitimate use of coercive
changed as well. In other words, up-scaling
technologies remain largely, although by no
or down-scaling is not socially neutral as
means exclusively, with the state. Legitimacy
new actors emerge and consolidate their posi-
depends, therefore, more crucially on the lin-
tion in the process, while others are excluded
guistic coding of the problems and of strat-
or become more marginal (Swyngedouw,
egies of action. This is particularly pertinent
1996; Swyngedouw et al, 2002). In sum,
in a policy environment that, at the best of
with changing scalar configurations, new
times, only reflects a partial representation
groups of participants enter the frame of
of civil society. As Kooiman notes, govern-
governance or reinforce their power position,
ance implies “a linguistic coding of problem
while others become or remain excluded.
definitions and patterns of action” (quoted in
Grote and Gbikpi, 2002, p. 13). This view par-
allels recent post-modern theories of political 4.6 Orders of Governance
consensus formation (see Hajer, 2003a),
Finally, as both Kooiman (2000) and Jessop
which implies a reliance on the formation of
(2002b, 2002c) attest, a clear distinction, at
discursive constructions (through the mobilis-
least theoretically, has to be made between
ation of discourse alliances) that produces an
meta-, first-, and second-order governance.
image, if not an ideology, a representation of
Meta-governance refers to the institutions
a desirable good, while, at the same time,
or arrangements of governance where the
ignoring or silencing alternatives. These
‘grand principles’ of governmentality are
discursive or representational strategies have
defined (Whitehead, 2003). For example, the
become powerful mechanisms for producing
European Union, the World Trade Organi-
hegemony and, with it, legitimacy. The latter,
sation or the G-8 meetings are textbook
of course, remains extremely fragile as it can
examples of vehicles of meta-governance.
be continuously undermined by means of
First-order governance is associated with
counter-hegemonic discourses and the mobilis-
codifying and formalising these principles,
ation of a deconstructionist apparatus for deci-
while second-order governance refers to the
phering the codings of power that are
sphere of actual implementation. In terms of
imbedded in legitimising discourses.
political and social framing of policies, there
is a clear hierarchy between these orders
of governance, which can and do operate at
4.5 Scales of Governance
all spatial levels. However, the choreography
Fifthly, the geographical scale or level at of participation, including entitlement, status
which forms of governance-beyond-the-state and accountability, varies significantly depend-
are constituted and their internal and external ing on the ‘order’ of the governing network.

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2002 ERIK SWYNGEDOUW

5. The Janus Face of Governance-beyond- permits, in fact, a form of governmentality


the-State: The Contradictions of Social that is only apparently outside the state and
Innovation in Governance to which the state must necessarily respond.
This ambiguity becomes one of the means
Of course, the political and institutional
the state mobilises to deal with its own imma-
armature does not operate independently of
nent legitimation crisis. For example, the new
the social and economic sphere. In fact, any
forms of governance (at the EU or other
operation of the political sphere is, de facto,
levels) are invoked by the state to legitimise
a political-economic intervention as govern-
and push through forms of intervention that
ance inevitably impinges on decisions over might otherwise meet with considerable
economic processes and modes of environ- resistance from (significant parts of) civil
mental use and transformation. This is parti- society. The imposition of the budget norm
cularly true in a market economy, in which on national governments by the Maastricht
key decisions over resource allocation, use treaty in the run-up to European monetary
and transformation, are taken by private integration was a classic example of this
actors who operate within the constraining practice. In the absence of clear channels of
or enabling regulatory framework of systems representation and accountability, civil
of government. To the extent that over the society individuals and groups find it more
past few decades there has been a tendency difficult to engage in public debate and to
towards deregulation and reregulation and contest or change courses of action decided
towards the externalisation of state functions, beyond-the-state.
the new forms of governance were either Therefore, the thesis of the transition
instrumental in shaping this transformation in socioeconomic regulation from statist
or else they became established as the regu- command-and-control systems to horizontal
latory framework for managing a beyond- networked forms of participatory governance
the-state polity. In this sense, the power has to be qualified in a number of ways.
geometries within and between networks of First of all, the national or local state and
governance as well as, most importantly, the its forms of political/institutional organisa-
theatre for their operation and focus of their tion and articulation with society remain
intervention, are shaped by these wider important. In fact, the state takes centre
political-economic transformations. stage in the formation of the new institutional
It would of course be premature to and regulatory configurations associated with
announce the death of the state in the wake governance (Swyngedouw et al., 2002). This
of the emergence of these new forms of configuration is directly related to the
governance. In fact, many of these networked conditions and requirements of neo-liberal
organisations are both set up by, and directly governmentality in the context of a greater
or indirectly controlled by, the state and, role of both private economic agents as
regardless of their origins, necessarily well as more vocal civil-society-based
articulate with the state. Hence, the poli- groups. The result is a complex hybrid form
tical power choreography in this hybrid of government/governance (Bellamy and
government/governance configuration is Warleigh, 2001).
multilayered, diffuse, decentred and, ulti- Secondly, the non-normative and socially
mately, not very transparent. Yet, whether innovative models of governance as non-
we are considering EU levels of governance, hierarchical, networked and (selectively)
or the emergence of sub-national levels of inclusive forms of governmentality, cannot
governance (social economy initiatives, be sustained uncritically. While governance
development corporations, local social move- promises and, on occasion, delivers a new
ments), these cannot operate outside, or inde- relationship between the act of governing
pendently of, the state. However, their and society and thus rearticulates and reorga-
institutional operation beyond-the-state nises the traditional tension between the

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GOVERNANCE INNOVATION 2003

realisation of the Rousseauian ideal in new social actors, the consolidation of the
immanent forms of governing on the one presence of others, the exclusion or diminished
hand, and the imposition of a transcendental power position of groups that were present in
Hobbesian leviathan on the other, there are earlier forms of government and the continuing
also significant counter-tendencies. In parti- exclusion of other social actors who have never
cular, as discussed above, tensions arise been included. The new ‘gestalt of scale’ of
between governance has undoubtedly given a greater
voice and power to some organisations (of a
(1) The possibilities and promises of enhan-
particular kind—i.e. those who accept playing
ced democratisation through participatory
according to the rules set from within the
governance versus the actualities of non-
leading élite networks). However, it has also
representational forms of autocratic élite
consolidated and enhanced the power of
technocracy.
groups associated with the drive towards
(2) The extension of ‘holder’ participation as
marketisation and has diminished the partici-
partially realised in some new forms of
patory status of groups associated with social-
governance versus the consolidation of
democratic or anti-privatisation strategies.
beyond-the-state arenas of power-based
Finally, and perhaps most importantly,
interest intermediation.
governance-beyond-the-state is embedded
(3) The improved transparency associated
within autocratic modes of governing that
with horizontal networked interdependen-
mobilise technologies of performance and of
cies versus the grey accountability of hier-
agency as a means of disciplining forms
archically articulated and non-formalised
of operation within an overall programme of
and procedurally legitimised, associations
responsibilisation, individuation, calculation
of governance.
and pluralist fragmentation. The socially
These tensions arise in a particularly prevalent innovative figures of horizontally organised
and acute way in the context of the processes stakeholder arrangements of governance that
of rescaling of levels of governance. The up- appear to empower civil society in the face
scaling, down-scaling and externalisation of of an apparently overcrowded and ‘excessive’
functions traditionally associated with the state, may, in the end, prove to be the
scale of the national state have resulted in Trojan Horse that diffuses and consolidates
the formation of institutions and practices of the ‘market’ as the principal institutional
governance that all express the above con- form.
tradictions. This is clearly evident in the
context of the formation (and probably
implementation) of a wide array of socially
Note
innovative urban and local development
initiatives and experiments, on the one hand, 1. “Les nouveaux modèles d’action en émer-
and in the construction of the necessary gence resultant de la combinaison plus ou
moins concertée d’acteurs sociaux provenant
institutional and regulatory infrastructure de divers milieux (privé, public, civique)
that accompanies such processes on the dans le but d’influencer les systemes
other. Needless to say, this ambiguous shift d’action dans de sens de leur intérêts”
from government to a hybrid form of (Paquet, 2001).
government/governance, combined with the
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