Governance often refers to a particular level of governance associated with a type of organization (including public governance, global governance, non-profit governance, corporate governance, and project governance), a particular ‘field’ of governance associated with a type of activity or outcome (including environmental governance, internet governance, and information technology governance), or a particular ‘model’ of governance, often derived as an empirical or normative theory (including regulatory governance, participatory governance, multilevel governance, meta governance, and collaborative governance). Governance can also define normative or practical agendas. Normative concepts of fair governance or good governance are common among political, public sector, voluntary, and private sector organizations.
There is a distinction between the concepts of governance and politics. Politics involves processes by which a group of people (perhaps with divergent opinions or interests) reach collective decisions generally regarded as binding on the group, and enforced as common policy. Governance, on the other hand, conveys the administrative and process-oriented elements of governing rather than its antagonistic ones. Such an argument continues to assume the possibility of the traditional separation between “politics” and “administration”. Contemporary governance practice and theory sometimes questions this distinction, premising that both “governance” and “politics” involve aspects of power and accountability.
In general terms, public governance occurs in three broad ways:
- Through networks involving public-private partnerships (PPP) or with the collaboration of community organisations;
- Through the use of market mechanisms whereby market principles of competition serve to allocate resources while operating under government regulation;
- Through top-down methods that primarily involve governments and the state bureaucracy.
Private governance occurs when non-governmental entities, including private organizations, dispute resolution organizations, or other third party groups, make rules and/or standards which have a binding effect on the “quality of life and opportunities of the larger public.” Simply put, private—not public—entities are making public policy. For example, insurance companies exert a great societal impact, largely invisible and freely accepted, that is a private form of governance in society; in turn, reinsurers, as private companies, may exert similar private governance over their underlying carriers. The term “public policy” should not be exclusively associated with policy that is made by government. Public policy may be created by either the private sector or the public sector. If one wishes to refer only to public policy that is made by government, the best term to use is “governmental policy,” which eliminates the ambiguity regarding the agent of the policy making.
Global governance is defined as “the complex of formal and informal institutions, mechanisms, relationships, and processes between and among states, markets, citizens and organizations, both inter- and non-governmental, through which collective interests on the global plane are articulated, right and obligations are established, and differences are mediated”. In contrast to the traditional meaning of “governance”, some authors like James Rosenau have used the term “global governance” to denote the regulation of interdependent relations in the absence of an overarching political authority. The best example of this is the international system or relationships between independent states. The term, however, can apply wherever a group of free equals needs to form a regular relationship.
Governance Analytical Framework
The Governance Analytical Framework (GAF) is a practical methodology for investigating governance processes, where various stakeholders interact and make decisions regarding collective issues, thus creating or reinforcing social norms and institutions. It is postulated that governance processes can be found in any society, and unlike other approaches, that these can be observed and analysed from a non-normative perspective. It proposes a methodology based on five main analytical units: problems, actors, norms, processes and “nodal points”. These logically articulated analytical units make up a coherent methodology aimed at being used as a tool for empirical social policy research.
Nonprofit governance has a dual focus: achieving the organization’s social mission and ensuring the organization is viable. Both responsibilities relate to fiduciary responsibility that a board of trustees (sometimes called directors, or Board, or Management Committee—the terms are interchangeable) has with respect to the exercise of authority over the explicit actions the organization takes. Public trust and accountability is an essential aspect of organizational viability so it achieves the social mission in a way that is respected by those whom the organization serves and the society in which it is located.
Corporate organizations often use the word governance to describe both:
- The manner in which boards or their like direct a corporation
- The laws and customs (rules) applying to that direction
Corporate governance consists of the set of processes, customs, policies, laws and institutions affecting the way people direct, administer or control a corporation. Corporate governance also includes the relationships among the many players involved (the stakeholders) and the corporate goals. The principal players include the shareholders, management, and the board of directors. Other stakeholders include employees, suppliers, customers, banks and other lenders, regulators, the environment and the community at large.
The first documented use of the word “corporate governance” is by Richard Eells (1960, p. 108) to denote “the structure and functioning of the corporate polity”. The “corporate government” concept itself is older and was already used in finance textbooks at the beginning of the 20th century (Becht, Bolton, Röell 2004).
Project governance is the management framework within which project decisions are made. Its role is to provide a repeatable and robust system through which an organization can manage its capital investments—project governance handles tasks such as outlining the relationships between all groups involved and describing the flow of information to all stakeholders.
Governance in an environmental context may refer to:
- a concept in political ecology which promotes environmental policy that advocates for sustainable human activity (i.e. that governance should be based upon environmental principles).
- the processes of decision-making involved in the control and management of the environment and natural resources. The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), define environmental governance as the “multi-level interactions (i.e., local, national, international/global) among, but not limited to, three main actors, i.e., state, market, and civil society, which interact with one another, whether in formal and informal ways; in formulating and implementing policies in response to environment-related demands and inputs from the society; bound by rules, procedures, processes, and widely accepted behavior; possessing characteristics of ‘good governance’; for the purpose of attaining environmentally-sustainable development.”
Land governance is concerned with issues of land ownership and tenure. It consists of the policies, processes and institutions by which decisions about the access to, use of and control over land are made, implemented and enforced; it is also about managing and reconciling competing claims on land. In developing countries, it is relevant as a tool to contribute to equitable and sustainable development, addressing the phenomenon that is known as ‘land grabbing’. The operational dimension of land governance is land administration.
Security of land tenure is considered to contribute to poverty reduction and food security since it can enable farmers to fully participate in the economy. Without recognized property rights, it is hard for small entrepreneurs, farmers included, to obtain credit or sell their business– hence the relevance of comprehensive land governance.
There is constant feedback between land tenure problems and land governance. For instance, it has been argued that what is frequently called ‘land grabbing’, was partly made possible by the Washington Consensus-inspired liberalization of land markets in developing countries. Many land acquisition deals were perceived to have negative consequences, and this in turn led to initiatives to improve land governance in developing countries.
The quality of land governance depends on its practical implementation, which is known as land administration: ‘the way in which rules of land tenure are made operational’. And another factor is accountability: the degree to which citizens and stakeholder groups are consulted and can hold to account their authorities.
The main international policy initiative to improve land governance is known as the Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure of Land, Fisheries and Forests in the Context of National Food Security (VGGT), endorsed by the Committee on World Food Security (CFS).
According to the WHO, “governance in the health sector refers to a wide range of steering and rule-making related functions carried out by governments/decisions makers as they seek to achieve national health policy objectives that are conducive to universal health coverage.” A national health policy is a complex and dynamic process, which changes from State to State according to the political, historical and socio-economic situation prevailing in the country. Mainly it seeks to strengthen the health system, making sure that they are capable of meeting the health needs of targeted populations.
More broadly, health governance requires a synergistic set of policies, many of which reside in sectors other than health as well as governors beyond the national governments, which must be supported by structures and mechanisms that enable collaboration. For instance, in the European context, it was developed a health policy framework called Health 2020 as a result of the collaboration between State members in the region. It gives policy-makers a vision, a strategic path and a set of priorities to improve health, guaranteeing that it is more equitable and sustainable.
In the 21st Century, global trends (e.g., changing population demographics and epidemiology, widening social inequalities, and a context of financial uncertainty) have influenced health system priorities and subsequently the setting of the health governance function. These trends have resulted in the emergence of joint actions of all stakeholders to achieve seminal changes in 21st-century societies. It is also important to consider that people have witnessed a global shift from traditional and reactive healthcare to proactive care, mainly enabled by investment in advanced technologies. Recent artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine learning have made possible the automation as well as the standardisation of many processes in healthcare, which have also brought to light challenges to the existing governance structures. One of these challenges concerns the ownership of health data.
Internet governance was defined by the World Summit on the Information Society as “the development and application by Governments, the private sector and civil society, in their respective roles, of shared principles, norms, rules, decision-making procedures, and programmes that shape the evolution and use of the Internet.” Internet governance deals with how much influence each sector of society should have on the development of the Internet, such as to what extent the state should be able to censor it, and how issues on the Internet, such as cyber-bullying, should be approached.
Information technology governance
IT governance primarily deals with connections between business focus and IT management. The goal of clear governance is to assure that investment in IT generates business value and mitigates the risks that are associated with IT projects.
Blockchains offer a novel way to enforce agreements and achieve cooperation and coordination. The main technical features of blockchains support transparency and traceability of records, information immutability and reliability, and autonomous enforcement of agreements. As such, blockchains will affect traditional forms of governance—most notably, contractual and relational governance—and may change the way to organize collaborations between individuals and between organizations. Blockchain governance relies on a set of protocols and code-based rules. As an original governance mode, it departs from an enforcement through the law (as in contractual governance) or through the value of future relationships (as in relational governance).
Regulatory governance reflects the emergence of decentered and mutually adaptive policy regimes which rests on regulation rather than service provision or taxing and spending.The term captures the tendency of policy regimes to deal with complexity with delegated system of rules. It is likely to appear in arenas and nations which are more complex, more global, more contested and more liberally democratic. The term builds upon and extends the terms of the regulatory state on the one hand and governance on the other. While the term regulatory state marginalize non-state actors (NGOs and Business) in the domestic and global level, the term governance marginalizes regulation as a constitutive instrument of governance. The term regulatory governance therefore allows us to understand governance beyond the state and governance via regulation.
Participatory governance focuses on deepening democratic engagement through the participation of citizens in the processes of governance with the state. The idea is that citizens should play a more direct roles in public decision-making or at least engage more deeply with political issues. Government officials should also be responsive to this kind of engagement. In practice, participatory governance can supplement the roles of citizens as voters or as watchdogs through more direct forms of involvement.
(See also contract management.) Emerging thinking about contract governance is focusing on creating a governance structure in which the parties have a vested interest in managing what are often highly complex contractual arrangements in a more collaborative, aligned, flexible, and credible way. In 1979, Nobel laureate Oliver Williamson wrote that the governance structure for a contract is the “framework within which the integrity of a transaction is decided”, adding further that “because contracts are varied and complex, governance structures vary with the nature of the transaction.”
Multi-level governance is the concept and study of the fact that many intertangled authority structures are present in a global political economy. The theory of multi-level governance, developed mainly by Liesbet Hooghe and Gary Marks, arose from increasing European integration, particularly through the European Union. José Manuel Barroso, former President of the European Commission, has stated that “the multilevel system of governance on which our European regional policy is based provides a key boost to the Union’s competitive edge” and that, in times of economic crisis, “multilevel governance must be a priority.”
“Metagovernance” is the “governing of governing”. It represents the established ethical principles, or ‘norms’, that shape and steer the entire governing process. It is important to note that there are no clearly defined settings within which metagoverning takes place, or particular persons who are responsible for it. While some believe meta governance to be the role of the state which is assumed to want to steer actors in a particular direction, it can “potentially be exercised by any resourceful actor”. who wishes to influence the governing process. Examples of this include the publishing of codes of conduct at the highest level of international government, and media focus on specific issues at the sociocultural level. Despite their different sources, both seek to establish values in such a way that they become accepted ‘norms’. The fact that ‘norms’ can be established at any level and can then be used to shape the governance process as whole, means metagovernance is part of both the input and the output of the governing system.
A collaborative governance framework uses a relationship management structure, joint performance and transformation management processes and an exit management plan as controlling mechanisms to encourage the organizations to make ethical, proactive changes for the mutual benefit of all the parties.
Security sector governance
Security sector governance (SSG) is a subpart concept or framework of security governance that focuses specifically on decisions about security and their implementation within the security sector of a single state. SSG applies the principles of good governance to the security sector in question