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date: 21 August 2019

(p. xi) Preface

(p. xi) Preface

The invitation to edit the Oxford Handbook of Governance came from Dominic Byatt of Oxford University Press. After some hesitation, I accepted it in the hope of consolidating and extending the work I had undertaken, with my colleagues, within the framework of the ECPR Standing Group on Regulatory Governance and the Regulation & Governance journal. It proved a challenging task because of the scope of the subject but also because I undertook it on top of other commitments, not least the editing of the Handbook on the Politics of Regulation (Edward Elgar). Nevertheless, it became a very rewarding project for me and I hope also for the readers of and the contributors to this handbook.

My own interest in governance emerged from my research on interest intermediation, policy networks, and the European Union. This interest was first nurtured by my mentor Yael Yishai, at the University of Haifa, and subsequently developed through my cooperation with Frans van Waarden and David Vogel and my years at Nuffield College Oxford with Jeremy Richardson. It was while I was working at Oxford on the edited collection The Politics of Regulation: Institutions and Regulatory Reforms for the Age of Governance (Edward Elgar, co-edited with Jacint Jordana) that I started to note the proximity of the issues covered by the then separate literatures of regulation and governance. Still it took some time before I started to appreciate more seriously the interaction of the two shifts—the shift from government to governance and the shift from Weberian bureaucracy to regulocracy—and consequently emergence of a new regulatory state. Softer and more transnational than the traditional regulatory state, the new regulatory state controls by competition rather than by capping prices, and is European and étatist rather than American and neoliberal. These themes were made still clearer to me while I was working at RegNet at the Australian National University, with John Braithwaite, Peter Drahos, Peter Garbosky, Christine Parker, and Clifford Shearing.

I started working on this handbook in 2008, shortly after moving from the University of Haifa to the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and was then actively engaged with it for almost three years. It was completed on research leave at the Research College (Kolleg-Forschergruppe) “The Transformative Power of Europe” at the Freie Universität Berlin to whose directors, Tanja Börzel and Thomas Risse, I owe much. I would like to take this opportunity to thank my colleagues and friends at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem who warmly facilitated my integration into the Department of Political Science and the Federmann School of Public Policy. I am also grateful to my hosts in Berlin: Tanja Börzel and Thomas Risse at the Freie Universität, who also supported the production of this book with their grant from the German Research Foundation (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft), and whose generosity and good advice were critical for the success of this handbook. In working on this volume I have (p. xii) drawn on occasional advice regarding both structure and content from very many good and generous colleagues. It is a pleasure to acknowledge the support of Tanja Börzel, Jørgen Grønnegård Christensen, Itzhak Galnoor, Peter Haas, Jacint Jordana, Arie Kacowicz, Orly Lobel, Guy Peters, Jon Pierre, Thomas Risse, Eva Sorensen, David Vogel, and Frans van Waarden. Finally, I want to note my gratitude to the contributors to this volume for their cooperation and their dedication to the project and to the field of governance. Their work both in this handbook and elsewhere extends the scope of research in this field and strengthens the foundations of our understanding of both government and governance. I hope that what we present here justifies optimism as regards the promise of the field and its future.

The Oxford Handbook of Governance is made up of nine sections. The first comprises six chapters that offer a broad overview of the governance literature. The second provides theoretical approaches aimed at situating the study of governance within a broad conceptual context and at extending its core agenda. The chapters in the third section analyze governance as a reform of the state. The fourth section covers actors of governance, their strategies, and their styles. The fifth examines economic governance, its challenges, forms, and causes. The sixth deals with the governance of risk and of science and technology. The seventh moves on to issues of democratic governance, which demonstrate that governance implies a change in our understanding of democracy. The eighth and the ninth sections cover the transnational arena, dealing first with the European Union—one of the exciting laboratories of governance research—while the second addresses issues in global governance. In all, the fifty-two chapters of this handbook fulfill a dual role of representing past achievements and offering directions and insights that may, I hope, allow us to understand the world around us better and to realize the ambitions of the scholarly community concerned with governance.

David Levi-Faur

Berlin, May 2011