Renowned social and political theorist Bob Jessop explores the idea of civil society as a mode of governance in this bold challenge to current thinking.
Developing theories of governance failure and metagovernance, the book analyses the limits and failures of economic and social policy in various styles of governance. Reviewing the principles of self-emancipation and self-responsibilisation it considers the struggle to integrate civil society into governance, and the power of social networks and solidarity within civil society.
With case studies of mobilisations to tackle economic and social problems, this is a comprehensive review of the factors that influence their success and identifies lessons for future social innovation.
“…a masterpiece…. Two thirds of the book are a fascinating academic exercise of dissecting the governance of complexity and the complexity of governance, in theory and in praxis…” Maecenata Stiftung
“Admirable for its scope and rigour… a great book for specialists.” Voluntas
“Bob Jessop is a living classic in the field of critical governance studies.” Voluntas
“Rich in theoretical depth and interdisciplinary reflection, this is a rare book indeed. It makes most books in its field seem obsolete or outdated. Bob Jessop has delivered a state theory meets civil society tour de force.” Martin Jones, Staffordshire University
“Bob Jessop applies his formidable intellect to the task of putting civil society in its place and rethinking its location within the field of critical governance studies. A must read.” Jonathan S. Davies, De Montfort University
“It turns out that Bob Jessop is just as good at putting civil society in its right and proper place as he is at putting the state and capitalist economies in theirs. That is no mean feat. Deeply impressive and required reading.” Colin Hay, Sciences Po, Paris
Bob Jessop is Professor of Sociology at Lancaster University. He works on critical governance studies and welfare state restructuring and was previously involved in the WISERD Civil Society Research Centre.
Part I: Complexity, contingency and governance
2 The governance of complexity and the complexity of governance
3 Governance failure, metagovernance and its failure
4 Semantic, institutional and spatio-temporal fixes
Part II: Locating civil society as a mode of governance
5 Locating the WISERD Project: Public policy governance towards common good
6 Locating civil society in Marx and Gramsci
7 Locating civil society in Foucault
Part III: Governance failure and metagovernance
8 The multispatial governance of social and economic policy
9 The dynamics of economic and social partnerships and governance failure
10 Competitiveness vs civil society as modes of governance