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Antonio Gramsci

CHALLENGING GOVERNANCE THEORY

Newly published by Policy Press: Jonathan S. Davies, “Challenging Governance Theory: From Networks to Hegemony”.  
http://www.policypress.co.uk/display.asp?ISB=9781847426147&.  

“Theories heralding the rise of network governance have dominated for a generation. Yet, empirical research suggests that claims for the transformative potential of networks are exaggerated. This topical and timely book takes a critical look at contemporary governance theory, elaborating a Gramscian alternative. It argues that although the ideology of networks has been a vital element in the neoliberal hegemonic project, there are major structural impediments to accomplishing it. While networking remains important, the hierarchical and coercive state is vital for the maintenance of social order and integral to the institutions of contemporary governance.

Reconsidering it from Marxist and Gramscian perspectives, the book argues that the hegemonic ideology of networks is utopian and rejects the claim that there has been a transformation from ‘government’ to ‘governance’. This important book has international appeal and will be essential reading for scholars and students of governance, public policy, human geography, public management, social policy and sociology”. 

Jonathan S. Davies is Professor of Critical Policy Studies at De Montfort University.

 

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CRITICAL GOVERNANCE STUDIES CONFERENCE 

AT WARWICK UNIVERSITY, UK, DECEMBER 13/14 2010 

  

 
“Governance” has for some time been a fashionable concept across the social sciences and throughout the public, private and voluntary sectors.  Rod Rhodes identified 7 different arenas and senses in which “governance” discourse is used and promoted: governance as governing without government, the minimal state, new public management, self-organising networks, socio-cybernetic systems, good governance; corporate governance.  

Our goal is to establish a forum to challenge orthodoxies and develop a dialogue between scholars and practitioners interested in developing critical approaches to the study and practice of governance. To this end, Warwick University’s Institute of Governance and Public Management has organised a two day international, cross-disciplinary conference to debate these issues, with a view to generating a post-conference edited collection.    

Our keynote speaker is the world-renowned Professor Nancy Fraser (New York’s New School for Social Research).

Professor Nigel Thrift (Vice Chancellor, University of Warwick), will give the opening address.

Other distinguished contributors include professors Mark Bevir (Berkeley, California), Janet Newman (Open University), Helen Sullivan (Birmingham) and Hugh Willmott (Cardiff).  

We welcome individual abstract submissions from now until 19th November and invite colleagues to submit abstracts on themes that might include, among others, critical approaches to the governance of citizens, space, money, networks, risk, security, science and universities. Proposals for panels and streams along these lines are also welcome. Abstracts for both panels and individual papers should be between 200 and 500 words and including the names, positions, affiliations and contact details of all proposers and contributors.
As the conference theme is “challenging orthodoxies”, we ask colleagues to address it directly in their abstracts by describing a problematic orthodoxy, subjecting it to critical challenge and outlining new areas of inquiry and new social practices based on the critical approach. At the same time, we encourage people to problematize the key terms, governance, orthodoxy and critique.  

After the conference, we plan to publish an edited collection with selected papers, showcasing the best critical governance research from across the disciplines.

We are able to offer a small number of discounts to scholars and doctoral students who would otherwise be unable to attend.  If you wish to apply for a discounted fee, please state this at the end of your abstract and explain why you need financial support.  

Please email abstracts to esme.farrington@wbs.ac.uk and register for the conference at: http://www.wbs.ac.uk/events/2010/12/13/Critical/Governance/Conference

We look forward to meeting you at the Warwick Critical Governance Studies conference.  Warwick University is close to Shakespeare’s Stratford-on-Avon, to the charming and historic Cotswolds, and to London. Warwick’s campus is easily accessible by road, plane and train (20 minutes from Birmingham International Airport; or 60 minutes from London’s Euston rail station).  Warwick’s campus and conference facilities are pleasant and modern, the accommodation is 4 star and the service is professional.  

Jonathan S Davies and Penelope Tuck
Institute of Governance and Public Management (IGPM)
Warwick University, Coventry UK  

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