WASS PhD course:  Governance theories and governance frameworks: tailoring, matching and making them work for YOU

Choosing and understanding a theory on governance for your Phd project is not an easy endeavour. Governance is a broad issue that is addressed, analysed, and understood in diverging ways. The literature on governance has a long tradition, that includes literature as old as Artistoteles and Machiavelli, and that has embraces disciplines ranging from public administration, planning, policy sciences, to economics. This course will give you an overview of these different theories and their interrelations.

Based on this overview of governance theories we will help you to reflect about your own theoretical framework. We will discuss its strengths and weaknesses, the internal compatibility of the theory you have chosen and the potential relations with and embeddings of other theories.

In the second part of the course particular attention will be given to more recent theoretical developments in which more and more attention is given to the evolutionary nature of governance. This part will focus on Evolutionary Governance Theory (EGT). EGT is a novel theory of governance in which governance is conceptualized as radically evolutionary, which implies that all elements of governance are subject to evolution, that these elements co- evolve, and that many of them are the product of governance itself. The theory puts forward a new framework in which concepts and ideas from various sources such as post-structuralism, discourse theory, social systems theory, and institutional and development economics are embedded.

During this part of the course the overall structure of EGT and its core concepts will be presented and explained. Particular attention will be given to the ways in which this framework can help to enrich and deepen your own theoretical framework. The course will offer plenty of opportunities to discuss your empirical findings, your theoretical ideas and if you are interested you can also discuss your (draft) papers and to get feedback on the possibilities to refine the analysis and put forward a comprehensive and coherent story.