The study of governance networks has taken such a flight that it has become increasingly hard to think of issues in public administration or public policy outside of the idiom and concepts of governance theories. Or, to put it differently, governance networks have moved from a niche within our domain to become mainstream or common knowledge. Erik-Hans Klijn and Joop Koppenjan have played an important role in popularizing the central concepts of governance networks. In our review of their latest book, we argue that Klijn and Koppenjan have delivered a conceptually rich textbook on governance networks, and that there can be no doubt that many students will find it immensely useful when studying the big theme that is governance. In fact, in their book, governance networks have become the agenda, and network governance is not only something one can observe, it is also considered something worth aiming for. If that is the case, we still need to make big steps in further testing and critically researching the main ideas and assumptions using novel and more sophisticated methods. That also needs to be part of the agenda, next to the normative stance that governance is good.
Publication | Gerrits, L.M. & Verweij, S. (2017). When governance networks become the agenda. Public Administration Review, 77 (1), 144-146.