Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD HANDBOOKS ONLINE (www.oxfordhandbooks.com). © Oxford University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Handbooks Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 17 October 2019

(p. v) Foreword

(p. v) Foreword

As this volume was written, the Arab world was in turmoil. Tunisia experienced regime change, then Egypt, now half a dozen other states are in turmoil. The changes on offer in these uprisings are disparate. In Palestine, the change is a fragile agreement to create a unity government between Hamas and the Palestine Liberation Organization. Yet what Palestine has in common with Syria, Libya, Yemen, Bahrain and the other uprisings is that the new demand was from the crowd on the streets, reluctantly acceded to by the Hamas and PLO leaders. We have seen this before, with the Carnation Revolution in Portugal (1974), People Power democratic revolutions in the big countries of South-East Asia (the Philippines (1986), Indonesia (1998)), in 1989 with crowds creating the Velvet Revolution in Czechoslovakia, initially led from the streets and shipyards of Poland, then sweeping most of the communist world and almost prevailing in China, followed by successor democratic uprisings in Serbia (2000) with students as usual playing a vanguard role, the Rose Revolution in Georgia (2003), Ukraine's Orange Revolution (2004), Kyrgzstan's Tulip Revolution (2005). And we see it throughout history as George Rudé's (1964) The Crowd in History showed with case studies of transformation of the great powers of the 18th and 19th centuries, such as the French Revolution.

As in France, England and Boston, in Egypt, Libya and Yemen there is a struggle among very different political forces on the street to steer the crowd. Networks identified with the idea of Al Qaeda are part of the mix, as are organizers with liberal ideologies, socialists, religious sects, tribal powerbrokers and much more. Are such actors engaged in governance of the crowd and therefore of their country? At the time of writing, government forces have been driven from the eastern ports of Libya, while Colonel Gaddafi's regime continues to control the west. The spirit of this volume might be to say that the Gaddafi family remains the key node in the governance of his tribe and of western Libya, while a variety of rebel leaders are key nodes of the networks governing the east. NATO governs the skies above east and west, enforcing a UN no-fly zone. Yet the governance of the ground is shaped by NATO as well in the sense of Christopher Hood's (1983) typology applied to metagovernance (Jacob Torfing, Chapter 7)—Nodality (occcupying a strategic conjuncture of a governance network); Authority (legitimacy in the eyes of network actors); Treasure (access to key resources); Organization (organizational capability to monitor and manage networks).

A conventional analysis could be that while networked governance might have more Nodal and Organizational capability than government by the state, the state has more Authority (particularly Max Weber's legitimacy to monopolise force) and Treasure (p. vi) under its sway. Moreover, it is the A and T of NATO that is the real deal of statist politics (the stuff of political science). Libya in 2011 hardly fits this account. It is doubtful that Gaddafi enjoys the greater legitimate Authority; it remains to be seen whether the rebels might be able to mobilise the greater Treasure of NATO (the regional intergovernmental organization) in the long haul.

The main point here is that a political science that clings to a preoccupation with government, marginalizing the study of governance, restricts its relevance beyond the politics of settled western democracies, risking irrelevance in understanding moments of political transition. One virtue of the governance perspective is well captured in the pages of this volume. In the study of political transformation, this is that governance nurtures the study of non-government networks enrolling ‘bits of state’ (Filer 1992) to their projects. Nonviolence networks make much of this. They argue that the crowd is more likely to prevail in history with democratic change when it maintains the discipline of a willingness to absorb the bullets of the regime without returning fire. As the crowd absorbs more and more bullets, the turning point in a struggle has prospects of being more profound, as we saw with the 1991 Santa Cruz massacre of at least 200 in East Timor. This is because with more bullets it becomes more transparent that the state does not secure consent through legitimate authority. It could be said that this Gandhian insight holds from the carnation revolution in Portugal, which made famous the symbol of putting flowers into the barrels of rifles, through to Tunisia and Egypt's Jasmine and Lotus Revolutions. On this analysis, the mistake of the Libyan rebels was to grab through force those regions of the country where they could prevail militarily. As soon as alternative governance networks start shooting at the government, defenders of the state, particularly military professionals, close ranks. Prospects of breaking off bits of government subside. The bit that matters most in this context is the military. That does not necessarily mean the military leadership. Nonviolence training often construes the military leadership as corrupted, enriched by the regime. Hence the crowd might appeal to middle-ranking officers and their troops on the street. One informant in my research said that in the Philippines People Power movement relatives of commanders of particular tanks were assigned to stand in front of those tanks and appeal for support.

There is now an evidence base for nonviolence as a preferred strategy of revolutions that prevail by enrolling bits of state to reform projects. Chenoweth and Stephan's (2011; Stephan and Chenoweth 2008: 8) study of 323 violent and nonviolent resistance campaigns from 1900 to 2006 found that ‘major nonviolent campaigns have achieved success 53 percent of the time, compared with 26 percent for violent resistance campaigns’, while Abrahms (2006) found terrorism enjoyed an even lower success rate, achieving its policy objectives in only 7 per cent of its long-run campaigns (see also Cronin 2009). Among the reasons advanced for this result are:

First, a campaign's commitment to nonviolent methods enhances its domestic and international legitimacy and encourages more broad-based participation in the resistance, which translates into increased pressure being brought to bear on the target. Recognition of the challenge group's grievances can translate into greater internal and external support for that group and alienation of the target regime, undermining the (p. vii) regime's main sources of political, economic, and even military power. Second, whereas governments easily justify violent counterattacks against armed insurgents, regime violence against nonviolent movements is more likely to backfire against the regime (Stephan and Chenoweth 2008: 8-9).

So, as contributors to this volume such as Jeremy Richardson (Chapter 22) argue, the new governance is not so new, having been understood by practitioners of reform networks enrolling bits of state since at least the French Revolution. E-democracy is certainly a new technology of the crowd in history (Eran Fisher, Chapter 40) that can help a mob to become a smart mob, but it is still a networked swarming strategy for political change prodded by the NATO of nodes like Wikileaks. While states remain the greatest focus of power on our planet, and while many networks can be enhanced by a little dose of bureaucracy (Laurance Lynn, Chapter 4), while they operate in the shadow of hierarchy, this volume richly reveals how state authority is often manifest as bits of state networked to assert power against the claims of other bits of the same state. Robert Putnam's (1988) study of the Bonn G-7 summit revealed an outcome that was not the preference of the majority faction of any G-7 state. It was a result that a set of minority factions of those states, such as environment ministries under pressure from green NGOs, could secure by networking their weaknesses to mobilise state strength. Normatively, a shift from the study of government to governance helps create space for intellectual work in the service of struggles against domination, as opposed to the service of states, or at least research pitched at the non-government, non-business audience. When weak movements from below prevail against the strong in the world system, it is usually when they have a strategy for dividing bits of corporate and state power against one another (Braithwaite and Drahos 2000). At these moments, as illustrated by the flower revolutions, the will of the crowd can be to institutionalize its governance of the government by elections that allow the people to replace regimes on a regular basis without spilt blood.

Another big historical conjuncture at which this volume appears (as discussed by Graham Wilson, Chapter 26, and other chapters) is the aftermath of the Global Financial Crisis. This was a context for regulatory scholars questioning whether even the most powerful government was in command of its economic destiny, or whether it was ‘Masters of the Universe’ who wield the power of finance capital. Ratings agencies, regulators, and large fractions of the disciplines of accounting and economics seemed to be more servants of Wall Street than servants of the state or its people. Central bankers seemed more independent of the executive government (Ellen Meade, Chapter 28) than of finance capital. Police-prosecutors-courts were quiescent, continuing to go about their business of punishing crimes on Main Street, preserving impunity on Wall Street. Contemplating the shift to governance is as relevant to responding to the limits of the judicial as to the executive and legislative branches of government. As Cynthia Estland points out (Chapter 38), under the ‘old governance’ of labour rights, threats of strikes and union safety inspectors were more important to protecting workers from occupational health and safety crimes than state enforcement, as evidenced by the strong negative association between the unionization of coal mines and harm to miners’ bodies (p. viii) (Braithwaite 1985). Wikileaks exposure is more relevant to regulating torture than state enforcement. For some crimes of big business, such as those of the pharmaceutical and defence contracting industries, privatization of enforcement through whistleblowers using the False Claims Act in the US to win a reward has been more important than the old public enforcement during the past decade. The gradual growth of restorative justice in western democracies involves a different kind of privatization and hybridity with state justice. So does the Taliban moving in to rural areas of Afghanistan in the 1990s where law and order had collapsed, offering their services, as David Kilcullen has put it, as an ‘armed rule of law movement’.

So the governance turn is as relevant to rethinking the intersections of the judicial branch as it is to other branches of government. The New Public Management urged legislative, executive and judicial branches of government to be engaged with markets as a mechanism to solve problems of public provision—by making health providers compete, putting a price on carbon, governing by contract private prisons (Erik Hans Klijn, Chapter 14).  ‘New governance’ encouraged the state to be networked (Rod Rhodes, chapter 3 and many other chapters), responsive to complexity (Volker Schneider, Chapter 9), collaborative (Chris Ansell, Chapter 35; Yannis Papadopoulos, Chapter 36), cybernetic (Guy Peters, Chapter 8), participatory (Frank Fischer, Chapter 32; Yael Yishai, Chapter 37), risk-analytic (Elizabeth Fisher, Chapter 29; Susana Borrás, Chapter 30), learning (Fabrizio Gilardi and Claudio Radaelli, Chapter 11), multi-level (Part VIII), globally attuned (Part IX), experimentalist (Charles Sabel and Jonathan Zeitlin, Chapter 12), institutionally flexible (Jon Pierre, Chapter 13), innovative (Eva Sorensen, Chapter 14), adaptive-transformative (Laurence Lynn, Chapter 4) by harnessing the managerial and technical genius of disparate partners. Because the state was encouraged to consider meta-governance strategies to harness both governance through markets and contracts of the NPM and governance through networks of ‘new governance’ (or the ‘conduct of conduct’, Brent Steele, Chapter 50), many of us saw governance as entering an age of regulation. Under regulation of private-public hybridity of networked governance and governance by contract and markets, both markets and regulation (broadly conceived) became stronger. So David Levi-Faur and Jacint Jordana in a series of empirical studies coined the term regulatory capitalism to capture the idea of a world with expanding rules and expansive markets. Even at the definitional core of states as inheritors of a monopoly of force, we moved to a world where private police greatly outnumbered public police and where core functions of warmaking and peacekeeping were contracted out and regulated by national and supra-national authorities (like NATO, the UN, the Red Cross, Amnesty, the International Criminal Court).

No one has done more than David Levi-Faur to build bridges between regulatory scholarship and political science. The rich conversation he has assembled in this volume is the latest contribution of this kind. It stands beside his leadership of the European Consortium for Political Research Standing Group on Regulatory Governance (that has become a pre-eminent global interdisciplinary network in this field) and his founding of the journal Regulation & Governance. David really believes in political science, so he was brave or foolish to invite this Foreword from someone who often wonders ‘Was political (p. ix) science a bad idea?’ ‘Would it not be better if the social sciences were less organized around types of institutions, more around ideas?’ I do despair during my fieldwork in countries recovering from civil war when political scientists, economists and anthropologists talk past one another. Political scientists sometimes see statebuilding as what matters and wonder how economists think they can get business investing without getting state institutions working first. Some economists, though by no means all, see capitalism as having taken off in a pre-Westphalian world, conceiving democratic institutions as things that follow the growth of capitalism. Anthropologists can see both as arriving from another planet. They sometimes see the development of markets as not very realistic and less important than developing the subsistence and gift economies that decide whether villagers will flourish or starve. And they can view the state as almost irrelevant to the daily lives of villagers, while the quality of village governance has a huge impact and traditional justice does nearly all the work the judicial branch of governance does in the west. It seemed a pathology of the disciplinary structure of the social sciences that anthropologists saw the lived folkways, the social construction of custom in local communities as what matter, economists saw markets as what matter and political scientists the state as what matters.

After reading this volume, littered with so many theoretical and empirical insights, I become encouraged for the future of a social science that conquers this pathology. Many anthropologists today do wonderful work on innovations that might simultaneously strengthen subsistence economies and market economies (high-tech fishing boats that trawl outside the range of traditional canoes, but encourage traditional fishing by buying and refrigerating every surplus fish caught from villagers’ canoes). Likewise anthropologists advance splendid diagnoses of how village and state governance can be joined up in ways that can improve lives. Economists and political scientists are more open to learning from each other today, methodologically and institutionally, on the synergies between state and market institutions. So for this outside critic, the governance turn in political science on display in this volume renders the discipline more relevant to making the connections that constitute a social science that matters to human lives (Peer Zumbansen, Chapter 6). This means a social science that identifies why we spew more carbon into the environment (Thomas Bernauer and Lena Maria Schaffer, Chapter 31), why a war occurred, why poverty persists, why women are oppressed, why a Global Financial Crisis occurs, as opposed to the narrow frames of why state or market failure happen.

John Braithwaite

Canberra,

May 2011