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date: 17 June 2019

Abstract and Keywords

In modern democracies, demands put on governments to govern are high. However, the governing of states has proven difficult. The difficulties can be explained by the fact that modern states possess a complexity unparalleled in any other organization. Ambiguity, conflicting interests, compromises, and the risk of overload reveal governments as everything but those rational, coordinated and problem-solving entities that they routinely are presented as. However, this does not mean that states are ungovernable. Governments are often able to govern state activities, but they do it in other ways than those implied by contemporary management models with their hierarchical, top-down-oriented, command-and-control methods. Based on a multitude of empirical studies in Sweden, this chapter discusses six strategies that the Swedish government uses when governing state agencies: creating formal organizations, positioning, fostering competition, distancing, forming communication channels, and storytelling.

Keywords: creating formal organizations, positioning, fostering competition, distancing, forming communication channels, storytelling

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