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Disentangling The Institutional Complexity Of Government And Civil Society

Raf Pauly (UGent) , Filip De Rynck (UGent) and Bram Verschuere (UGent)
(2017)
Author
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Abstract
This paper presents a conceptual framework for understanding how governments and civil society are related, specifically with regard to politics and service delivery. We engage in a critical reading of “governance” literature and focus on the institutional complexity of governance arrangements. “Government” materialises as a tangled set of institutions in different forms and shapes: on the local and central level; as politicians and civil servants; in councils, cabinets and departments; as agencies, etc. We are able to show how ‘government’ can be simultaneously facilitating and limiting, how politicians and civil servants can be mutually conflicting or harmonising, or even how other state actors (such as the judiciary) impact the policy process. Civil society, in all of íts complexity, is thus not just related to government, but to specific shapes and forms of governments. By engaging with the interweaving of formal, informal and narrative institutions (Lowndes & Roberts, 2013), research can uncover the internal complexities and contradictions of both civil society organisations and governments. In a second-order observation, this institutional outline provides insight into the confluence of elements of hierarchies, markets and networks in specific governance arrangements, and further serves to highlight processes of power in terms in terms of techniques of governmentality as well as hegemony and domination (Jessop, 2016).
Keywords
civil society, government, governance, institutions, power

Citation

Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:

MLA
Pauly, Raf, Filip De Rynck, and Bram Verschuere. “Disentangling The Institutional Complexity Of Government And Civil Society.” 2017. Print.
APA
Pauly, R., De Rynck, F., & Verschuere, B. (2017). Disentangling The Institutional Complexity Of Government And Civil Society. Presented at the 2017 EGPA Annual Conference.
Chicago author-date
Pauly, Raf, Filip De Rynck, and Bram Verschuere. 2017. “Disentangling The Institutional Complexity Of Government And Civil Society.” In .
Chicago author-date (all authors)
Pauly, Raf, Filip De Rynck, and Bram Verschuere. 2017. “Disentangling The Institutional Complexity Of Government And Civil Society.” In .
Vancouver
1.
Pauly R, De Rynck F, Verschuere B. Disentangling The Institutional Complexity Of Government And Civil Society. 2017.
IEEE
[1]
R. Pauly, F. De Rynck, and B. Verschuere, “Disentangling The Institutional Complexity Of Government And Civil Society,” presented at the 2017 EGPA Annual Conference, Milan, 2017.
@inproceedings{8534845,
  abstract     = {This paper presents a conceptual framework for understanding how governments and civil society are related, specifically with regard to politics and service delivery. We engage in a critical reading of “governance” literature and focus on the institutional complexity of governance arrangements. 

“Government” materialises as a tangled set of institutions in different forms and shapes: on the local and central level; as politicians and civil servants; in councils, cabinets and departments; as agencies, etc. We are able to show how ‘government’ can be simultaneously facilitating and limiting, how politicians and civil servants can be mutually conflicting or harmonising, or even how other state actors (such as the judiciary) impact the policy process. Civil society, in all of íts complexity, is thus not just related to government, but to specific shapes and forms of governments.

By engaging with the interweaving of formal, informal and narrative institutions (Lowndes & Roberts, 2013), research can uncover the internal complexities and contradictions of both civil society organisations and governments. In a second-order observation, this institutional outline provides insight into the confluence of elements of hierarchies, markets and networks in specific governance arrangements, and further serves to highlight processes of power in terms in terms of techniques of governmentality as well as hegemony and domination (Jessop, 2016).},
  author       = {Pauly, Raf and De Rynck, Filip and Verschuere, Bram},
  keywords     = {civil society,government,governance,institutions,power},
  language     = {eng},
  location     = {Milan},
  title        = {Disentangling The Institutional Complexity Of Government And Civil Society},
  year         = {2017},
}