This glossary present definitions and brief elaborations of the most important concepts of Evolutionary Governance Theory. For some concepts links with further readings are given. Most links bring you to a researchgate site where you can downloaded the different papers.
Actors are participants in governance, formally or informally. Actor can refer to individuals, groups or organizations. Actors are ascriptions, the result of observation, and sometimes of formal recognition as actors. Actors can enter governance, be created by governance, and actors transform when they become actors in governance.
Actor/ institution configuration
The unity of actors and institutions in a governance path. Actors and institutions co- evolve and whatever happens on one side of the configuration affects the other side. New actors affect old actors and old institutions, new institutions affect actors, etc (1).
Agency is considered to be an attribution made by an observer. Agency can be attributed to human beings, organizations, structures or objects.
An element or quality in a community that is of value. Assets are recognized in and by a community as an asset, and value is attributed. Something becomes an asset in a certain perspective, in a certain practical situation and discursive configuration.
Autopoiesis means self-reproduction. The concept refers to the operational closure of systems which implies that both the elements and the structures of a system are the product of the evolution of that system.
All boundaries are conceptual boundaries that delineate objects, subjects and places. The process of delineation can start with the demarcation of a difference, and it can start with the crystallization of relations, which then become considered as interior, and delineated from the environment (1).
The separation of potentially incompatible or conflicting institutions, to minimize their effects on each other. Buffering can extent to policy domains (governed in different manners, according to different principles) and many forms (from assigning resources, reducing the connectivity of rules, creating formal exceptions in the domains for cases associated with the other, formal institutions to specify boundaries of the buffered institutions, informal rules to selectively interpret or apply each of the others.
The ability of a community to move towards common goals or to develop. Capacity building usually refers to human resources, where the building is teaching, educating, organizing, so they can be more active and effective in community governance, in administration, as entrepreneurs, or in other roles deemed useful for development. As with assets and resources, capacity does not exist in nature, yet emerges in a certain perspective, an economic discourse, a development discourse, or a governance model.
The entwined evolution of two systems or entities, whereby changes in one affect changes in the other. Co- evolutions are usually co- evolutions in networks or systems, where not two but many entities evolve in relation to each other and depending on the whole environment created by the network of interactions (1,2).
Mechanisms to combine institutions, possibly of different provenance, possibly associated with different models of governance and different development models. These mechanisms can include nesting, framing, mixing, specifying, or specializing.
Delineating something, attributing a value and simplifying its circulation. Places, things, products, animals, and activities all can be commodified. One expansion of markets is the expansion of commodification. Commodification can be seen as privatizing and monetizing and undermining common goals and goods, but it can also be used as a tool towards achieving common goals (1).
Goals for a community, shared goals which can potentially structure policies, plans, development visions. Common goals can be rooted in common goods, shared values and shared necessities. Common goods cannot be simply assumed to exist, and certainly not by one actor or an elite faction in governance. Common goals cannot be derived from common goods in a simple and linear manner; this requires deliberation and it can require a variety of expertise -e.g. when it comes to planning, branding, design, livelihoods assemblage, entrepreneurship.
A group and a territory. An open concept which can veil very different realities per governance path. Governance can create the impression of community as some sort of social identity and unity, and it can result and represent such unity.
Context can refer to many things. It can refer to the environment or more specific elements in that environment that influence governance. Context can also be analyzed as something that is constructed. In that perspective it is something that necessarily differs between social system, that each construct their own context (1).
A conceptual or physical proximity which resorts effects. Contiguity can be causality, but it can also affect objects and people more unpredictably. Contiguity is a form of tight coupling.
That what is possible but not necessary. What is contingent, could also be different. It is the product of a context, of a governance path, of circumstances. Governance paths are structured, but contingent. The knowledge included in a governance path is contingent (1).
The undermining of institutions for private or group gain. Not all informal institutions can be called corruption. Corruption can ensue more easily when formal and informal institutions do not fit, or, more properly said, when the formal/ informal institutional configuration does not perform well, shows internal inconsistencies allowing for easy deviation from agreed upon collective goals.
The relation between two conceptual entities, whereby one has effects on the other. Coupling occurs between levels of governance, between governance models, between development perspectives, between governance models and development perspectives, between actors, and between function systems. We distinguish loose coupling, tight coupling and short circuit coupling, where combinatory attempts cause inconsistencies or conflicts somewhere in the governance system or in the community at large (1).
Dead institutions are written down institutions that were once considered formal. They have no effects currently because they are not considered a real coordination option. The fact that they are on the books makes it possible to revive them. Dead institutions are the product of modern societies. They are relevant for governance evolutions as they can hark back to former stages in the evolution. They do not revive old times, but they can bring back some lost coupling between actors, lost objects, or give existing objects a new meaning and impact, renders some forgotten subjects relevant et cetera (1).
Democracy is essentially about rules to change the rules; about transformation options. Democracy exists in different versions and some of these versions do not recognize each other as democracies. There is no recipe for democracy, but a form of functional differentiation, where law and economy can follow their path, without politics steering directly, can safeguard the flexibility of democratic governance and can maintain transformation rules and a diversity of voices.
Factors that shape the course of a governance path. We can distinguish path dependence, goal dependence and interdependence. Dependencies create rigidities, but do not imply determinism. They also create flexibilities and there are always options open, there is always a measure of contingency and freedom (1).
The evolution of governance, of the community and the effects of governance on the wellbeing of the community. Development can take place with or without development policies, plans, or visions. Different disciplines and different political ideologies embrace or produce different recipes for development, including different roles for government and governance in the development process.
Conceptual structures allowing for the formulation of desirable futures in a community. Development perspectives combine prescription and description, are rooted in theory and practice, in different ways and to different extents. Some development models are closely related with governance models, others not. Some are highly compatible with the local or regional production of development visions, with high levels of policy integration to guide governance, whereas others find the best possible future in minimal intervention, experiment, and in minimal institutional requirements (e.g. a minimalist version of the rule of law).
A structured set of concepts that enables access to a certain part or aspect of reality, while simultaneously veiling other parts or aspects. Discourses can be conceptualized as historically contingent social practices that produce the criteria for their own transformation. They are self-referential in the sense that they construct the world by means of references to their own elements and in the sense that new structures are always grounded in prior ones. In that sense discourses evolve (1).
The dissemination of concepts, images, narratives and narrative fragments to new contexts. Discursive migration can reinforce certain narratives, undermine others, and can create the potential for new discursive coalitions in governance.
A combination of discourses which becomes possible and has effects in governance. Discursive coalitions can be directly associated with coalitions of actors, or not. They can have a direct goal or implication of institutional reform, or not. Discursive coalitions can also be associated with one actor, and they can be associated with larger changes in the narrative frames of the community (1, 2).
Relatively small groups with accumulated wealth or power. Wealth can generate power and vice versa. Elite rule is a situation when elites have privileged access to power, through participation or representation, through formal and informal institutions. Elite rule can be buffered from more participatory or generally democratic policy domains. Elite rule in opacity can foster corruption.
A process of change in a system, whereby both external forces and internal mechanisms create a path, and both structures and elements of the system change over time. What can evolve are biological systems, psychic systems, social systems, including organizations and networks of organizations. Governance systems are not social systems by themselves, but networks of co- evolving organizations, each a social system.
Knowledge considered of special value for governance, suspected of more direct access to a reality relevant for the pursuit of collective goals, by means of analysis or prescriptions for action and intervention.
A development perspective which hinges about teaching and learning expertise useful for development. Over time, extension shifted emphasis from teaching to learning, from individual to social learning, from agricultural modernization goals, to participatory methods of goal setting.
Nation states which can be considered dead institutions: the constitutions is not implemented, the unity and cohesion in governance envisioned by the formal institutions cannot be observed in practice. Observation of a failed state, designation as such, hinges again on the perspective taken, the model of governance embraced, the level of cohesion expected from a nation state. A failed state for one can be a successful example of decentralized governance.
Formality in our perspective is the result of a choice or decision made again in each situation where there are several coordination options. In such a situation one coordination option carries the weight of general expectation that makes it formality. The distinction between formal and informal is thus a labelling that takes place with each and every decision. In modern states, formality is regularly associated with the state, with rules written down on paper, and with state organizations, but this is not necessarily always the case (1).
Formal / informal configuration
The unity of formal and informal institutions in a governance path. The configuration as a whole was certain effects, positive and negative, which ought to be assessed, rather than the effect of either formal or informal institutions separately. A configuration works when it delivers the goods, when it brings common goods as close as reasonably possible (1).
The relation between institutions whereby one forms the precondition of the other. Framing can be conceptual, temporal and spatial.
The separation of functional domains-law, science, economy, education, religion and politics. Function differentiation tries to grasp the essence of change in western societies, a process of systemic change leading into eighteenth century enlightenment and the level of functional differentiation we call modernity. Its empirical manifestations are likely to be diverse. Once domains start to separate, functional differentiation takes over from other forms of differentiation. It can replace hierarchical differentiation, based on a center-periphery relation and an ideal of overview and control by a political center. It can also replace segmentary differentiation, a catch phrase for many pre-modern societies structured along lines of clans, ethnic groups, extended families and tribes. For Luhmann functional differentiation entails the formation of function systems with a specific logic of reproduction (1).
Social systems that distinguish themselves by the specificity of their perspective. A function system reproduces itself by applying distinct code. Such logic is based on the unique application of unique procedures of observation, grounded in unique basic distinctions. Each function reconstructs the whole world internally, simplified according to the schemes grounded in that basic distinction. Law, economy, politics, religion, science and education are examples of function systems that each play a role in the reproduction of society as the encompassing social system (1,2).
Genealogy refers to a Foucaldian approach that aims to analyze the contigent character of something and to trace the evolutionary process of its coming into being.
The influence of plans and policies embedding collective goals on the present, on the co- evolution of actors and institutions, power and knowledge. Visions, scenario’s and plans are rarely fully implemented, but often have an impact on governance and on the realities governance affects (1).
Is defined differently in different paths and models of governance. A few shared characteristics we would (normatively) present: the formal/ informal configuration delivers the goods, works towards common goods; transformation options remain open; stabilization of expectations in a differentiated society.
The taking of collectively binding decisions in a community by a diversity of actors, inside and outside government, with formal roles and without formal roles. Governance relies on formal and informal institutions, on formal and informal roles (1).
We can describe each governance arrangement by means of a set of choice dimensions. Both the dimensions that are considered important as well as the alternative positions on these dimensions show recurring patterns. Certain dimensions and clusters of dimensions will be more common than others.
Governance models represent and simplify different paths of governance evolution. They can be distinguished as different modes of structural coupling between the most important function systems: politics, law and economy. They can also be seen as different compositions of basic concepts such as, individuals, organizations, communities, government, citizens, rights and duties, participation and representation, law, markets, politics, private and public goods. Each model represent a different narrative on existing and ideal societies and their modes of organization. No model of governance is perfect, as in perfectly legitimate, efficient, and stable.
The specific evolution of governance in a community. Governance paths have to be carefully reconstructed to be understood in their identity and their implications for possible futures (1).
Mechanisms is a broad concept that includes institutions (as coordination mechanisms), mechanisms of object and subject formation, and stratagems or individual actor’s devices to influence governance.
Places and occasions of higher communicative density. They refer to times and places when and where decisions are taken or prepared, where within or between actors alternative courses of collective action are assessed.
History can give depth to objects and subjects, can harden their boundaries, intensify the process of object stabilization, and render them more a part of the natural order. Images or narrative of history can harden the identity of actors, which makes governance less flexible and adaptive. In a similar way images of history can harden spatial boundaries that are institutionalized in administrative and political structures, such as governments linked to a particular territory. History differs from evolution as history is what can be rewritten from many perspectives, while evolution is the presence of history in the structure and function of systems.
That which is not pure. Nothing is pure in reality. We distinguish governance models, development models, community identities, unifying narratives. All these are conceptual categories and none of these will be found exactly embodied in governance. Nevertheless, the concept of hybrid can still be useful, to designate specific combinations of contributions by different identities, narratives, models to a situation empirically observed. A designation as hybrid should not be the end but the starting point of analysis.
That what makes something into what it is. For people, identities are narratives, stories they tell about themselves and which others tell about them. Identities can be tied to roles. Identity can also be attributed to places, times, groups, and then we speak of spatial identity, social identity and image of history. These three shape each other in the history of a community, and in governance paths. Governance can thoroughly reshape social and spatial identities, while shifting identities in wider circles will have governance effects at some point. Subjects and objects are identities; governance, in the daily negotiation and accommodation, the play of power/knowledge in politics, and in the impact of and on broader narratives and discourses, affects the formation and transformation of these identities (1,2,3,4).
The process that comes after policy making, the steps needed to create real world effects of policies, laws, or plans. IT is a process of continuous reinterpretation, of divergence and convergence, of adaptation to new power/knowledge configurations in new discursive environments, to new objects and subjects, and to new institutions (1,2,3).
Alternative coordination mechanisms to formal institutions. Informal institutions sustain, modify, undermine, reinforce, and complement formal institutions. Formal and informal institutions adapt to each other in governance paths (1).
Something new and important. In innovation discourses often reduced to technical innovation, which is supposed to lead to economic success. Innovation is an ascription a posteriori. It is highly unpredictable in nature and effects and it is barely susceptible to management. Innovation however can be the focus of ongoing conversations in governance, where reflection is cultivated on what is new, which innovation might be useful, and how innovations could be coordinated, that can therewith produce synergies (1,2).
The habit of adapting governance regularly to changing internal and external environments by altering institutional arrangements, aiming at specific topics or policy domains, or rethinking more fundamental governance schemes. Institutional experimentation can work best when there is a deep understanding of existing forms of self- organization (as informality, as emerging adaptation) and of the combined effects of formal and informal institutions currently. Governance aspires to enable both stabilization of expectations, catalyzing many sorts of transactions and interactions, and the possibility to adapt. Institutional experimentation is pushing the boundary of what is possible in governance, and high levels of reflexivity are needed to discern what the effects on governance stability are. Experimental domains can be buffered (see combinatory mechanisms), investment can be limited, space and time can be delineated for experiment, and one can distinguish various formalization modes (of informality) and light institutionalization modes (of arrangements deserving testing).
Institutions are rules of coordination between actors. Institutions can take the form of rules, norms, laws, policies and plans, with institutions in each case referring and linking to others, and often containing others.
In social systems theory interactions are conversations, fleeting, short- lived social systems. In a more general sense: meetings with content or purpose, between actors in governance, or in the community at large.
The restriction on action for an actor imposed by the relations with others. Interdependency can create a rigidity in a governance path caused by the specific set of relations between actors at one point in time. Interdependence can arise from specialization, resource distribution, knowledge distribution, power distribution, and from other sources. It can be codified in formal rules, in informal rules, and it can organically emerge.
The effect of social systems on each other, whereby their reproduction is affected by the environment, often another system, but without fully understanding what happened. A cause might be attributed, or not. The cause might be located in the system causing the irritation, or not.
The material world surrounding and pervading a community. The place for agriculture, nature, recreation, natural resource exploitation, or community expansion. Seeing these surroundings as a landscapes attributes a unity and possibly qualities of that unity, and the potential to manage landscape and thus create new qualities.
A formal institution designed to stabilize expectations and guide action in a more rigid manner than rules, policies and plans. Laws are the slowest evolving institutions, and guarantee both stability and adaptation in and by governance.
The idea that governance at the smallest scale is the best. Often associated with identity politics, with the idea that higher levels of governance are associated with different identities, and that the unique local character will never be fairly reflected or present in higher level governance. Localism can be unproductive, when this attitude generates rigidity in governance, by nostalgia, and a general habit of looking inward. And it can generate flexibility, by harnessing local knowledge, generating high participation levels, cultivating reflexivity, all together possibly leading to development visions and policy integration more broadly which captures, protects and reinforces local qualities and assets in a vision eminently adapted and adaptable.
A form of knowledge in governance which is recognized as local and as knowledge (thus not as background noise, or opinions) that is differentiated from expert knowledge. Local knowledge can include elements of scientific knowledge, present and past. The desirable balance between local knowledge and expert knowledge differs per governance path and per governance model and development perspective.
Mapping in evolving governance is reconstructing of governance paths and governance contexts. Mapping is always selectivity and interpretative: paths are infinitely detailed and context extends without limits in time and space.
A metaphor is the presentation of something as something else. Metaphors enable perceiving new features of an object, a person, or a situation and a new connection between these features, a new unity of the object. We can speak of a transformation of the object or of a redrawing of the boundaries. Once a metaphor is adopted and spreads in a community, it tends to be stretched up. With the over-application of the metaphor, the underlying comparison become weaker and weaker, and the shift in perspective minimalizes. Metaphors are devices that can link different discursive fields, and make the interpretive schemes of one field available and useful for the other one.
The set of discursive changes induced by changes in metaphorical activity. Metaphors can have governance effect by producing new insights by connecting semantic fields. If metaphors are produced, used, changed, or connected with other metaphors, objects can form and disappear, boundaries can be redrawn, narratives can lose or gain persuasiveness, and new narratives can be crafted.
Any combination of dissimilar elements (associated with different approaches) in any given policy or governance arrangement.
The fact of moving and changing at the same time. People, things and concepts move, they change in the act of moving through different contexts and they change each other when traveling together. Migration and discursive migration are mobilities. The broad concept of mobilities enables a perspective on governance as a context of change, and embedded in contexts of change. Mobilities affect governance in pattern complex because their interweaving and partial invisibility.
Models of democracy
Conceptual structures offering a perspective on democracy. Models are a combination of prescription and description, of theory and practice. We distinguish five main models which emerged in the course of western intellectual and political history: civic republicanism, socialism/ communism, liberal democracy (neoliberalism), civil society, and communitarianism. Empirical states and communities can be considered as hybrids, however their functioning and evolution can often be better understood when tracing aspects and elements of different models and their lineage.
Multi-level governance implies that several governance paths exist in a community. These paths can run parallel, they can entangle, and they can block each other. Evolutions in one path can affect the other paths, both positively and negatively, by inspiring conformity or by inspiring deviation.
A narrative is a form of discourse that has a particular conceptual structure. This structure can render the discursive materials more real and more compelling by introducing temporal, spatial and emotional order. A narrative is a particular assemblage of concepts, subjects, objects and events. It articulates for example particular events and episodes, flights and climaxes, heroes and villains, criteria and values, foreground and background.
A product of the modern era, of a slow evolution towards centralization of power in the center of larger territories. Nation states recreate community, can be more or less centralized, rely more or less on formal institutions, and are marked by different patterns of differentiation between law, politics, economy, and science (1).
An object in the material world delineated in and by a community and receiving an ascription of value by a community. Something becomes a natural resource when a community uses it and attributes value to it. The value can derive from direct use or from symbolic attribution, but also the direct use value is tinged with symbolism, while symbolic value can be converted into use value when exchange systems (currencies, markets) exist.
The nesting of institutions is a combinatory mechanism for institutions with the same targets where one contains the other at a lower level. One approach contains another at a lower level. Nesting can be similar and dissimilar.
Objects are the product of discursive evolutions. Object formation combines the techniques of reification, solidification and codification. Reification entails the recognition of the object as a unity, separated from its environment, more than a loose assemblage of parts. Solidification refers to the tightening of internal connections in the concept, an increasingly sharp delineation of the emerging discursive object. Codification is the simplification of the object boundaries (1,2).
A specific phase of object stabilization. As techniques of object stabilization, we distinguish objectification, naturalization, and institutionalization. Objectification is the acknowledgment of the object as part of the objective truth, established by scientific means. Naturalization is the strengthening of discourse that the object is part of the order of things, part of nature. It is the process that veils contingency, blinds the awareness that things could have been different, that objects could have been constructed differently. Institutionalization is the codification of discourse, including its objects, in organizations and institutions, such as policies, laws, and plans.
Seemingly vague concepts that play crucial roles in the reproduction of governance. One could think of concepts such as sustainability, resilience, quality, identity, creativity, or innovation. Open concepts rupture the local discursive structure with an emptiness that invites divergent reinterpretations (1).
Organizations can refer to subjects, actors, or to a particular type of social system. An organization as social system reproduces itself by means of decisions. The structure of the decision-premises is the result of the history of the organization, the images of self and environment, of goals and priorities, strengths and weaknesses that evolved in its self-reproduction. Decisions are taken based on an image of self that is delineated, that is different from other companies, that includes certain departments, persons, roles, procedures, membership rules, promotion rules and measures for success and failure.
Direct contribution by actors to governance; direct as opposed to indirect and delegated. Individuals can participate, or they can be represented in a certain role or interests by others, who could be called actors. Making governance more participatory probably increases the number of actors, but not necessarily. The democratic effects of participation should always be considered in relation to representative forms of decision-making.
A rigidity in governance paths whereby the next step in governance evolution is restricted by the existing governance configuration and by the history of governance leading to that configuration. Path dependence can follow out of interdependence, but all features of governance can potentially constitute path dependencies, as well as the externalized results of governance in the past, such as physical infrastructures (1,2).
Performance is the embodiment and inhabiting of a role and a script. Performance taking place in a governance context can have rhetorical effects far beyond governance, because of the nature of governance, the potential for collectively binding decisions, and shifting actor/ institution configurations and power/ knowledge configurations. Performance of success and failure can harden a governance path, as the implied values, roles and power relations are sanctioned or rejected.
The reality effects of narratives, policies and plans, partly the result of performance, partly the result of discursive configurations, and partly of the functioning of the configurations in governance itself (1,2,3).
The representation of a place not merely as a commodity, but as a bundle of qualities and activities which can generate new commodities. Planning can reinforce or undermine place branding, and place branding can do the same with planning. Place branding outside governance embodies a strong neo- liberal challenge to participation, to the inclusion of diverse voices in the articulation of community futures (1).
The coordination of policies and practices affecting spatial organization. Planning does not necessarily need actors that are labelled planners and it does not necessarily rely on plans. Planning can be a site of policy integration (1).
Tools for policy integration that usually include a variety of other institutions, while they require and rely on yet others for their implementation, that is, their path of increasing influence on the community.
Temporary conceptual structures coordinating knowledge and power, in constant transmutation, because of the confrontations with other power/knowledge configurations. Policies are both an outcome of and a tool for coordination between actors.
The integration of various policies into a new one with the aim to find synergies, increase efficiency of governance, and minimize a mutual undermining of policies and the associated collective goals. A minimum level of policy integration is policy coordination, whereby a set of policies is scrutinized for their mutual effects, and this assessment leads to informal rules for the implementation of each, in reference to the others (1,2).
The influence of a position on what one can see and think. Positionality becomes more important in post- structuralism, where the perspective one chooses, the discourses one inhabits, always structure reality. In governance, positionality can refer to the perspective associated with a role and to the perspective which was gradually shaped by a trajectory through governance and through the community in governance practice and as an observer/ analyst. Awareness of positionality is an aspect of reflexivity.
A constructivist epistemology. In post- structuralist fashion, we analyze governance as a meeting ground of different worlds. We do not deny the existence of reality, but something as soon as we observe, communicate, or reason we are within discourse. As soon as something is said, it is subject to the mechanics of discourse, to metaphorical sliding, to distortions by the seeping in of utopias and dystopias, to entanglements with power that cannot be fully grasped.
In line with Foucault power is conceptualized as a set of immanent force relations that is present and working everywhere and in every direction. Power is neither good nor bad, it is not necessarily tied to individual or group action, desire, and intentionality. Rather, it is the web of forces at micro- level that make things at the same time possible and understandable and that allows for aggregations of power at higher levels of understanding and authority(1).
Power/ knowledge configuration
The unity of power and knowledge in a given governance path. Power shapes knowledge and knowledge shapes power and none can be understood without reference to the other. Governance is possible because of power/ knowledge configurations, which make reality understandable and malleable at the same time, and it is the place for configurations to become dense and compete, because of possible impact on the community at large.
That which is recognized as practice, in distinction with concept or thought. Practice can refer to the implementation of policies, to policy making, to the world of activity outside governance (usually a reference to the business world) or to action itself.
An object is delineated and then connected with a person or legal entity obtaining rights over it. If something becomes something and then property, it is also commodified, and property rights include some form of transfer right (giving, selling,..). However, in essence, property is use, and property rights are bundles of use rights, combined with obligations and restrictions on use. Governance transforms property rights continuously. A myth of absolute property rights makes this transformation harder, and thus raises obstacles for adaptive governance. Property rights embody a coupling between political, legal and economic systems (1,2).
Images, and stories, can become reality, and even when they do not produce the reality they describe, they can change it.
The habit and attitude to reflect on one’s actions, thoughts and positionality and to look for the grounding assumptions, the underlying discourses, and their effects. In governance, reflexivity can increase flexibility and decrease rigidities in the governance paths. A deeper understanding of past and present shows more and more realistic transformation options. Reflexivity in governance can foster common goods, but, it can also making individual or actor strategies more complex and intricate (1).
The delegation of power by citizens to others, to represent their interests and perspectives. Those representatives can further delegate to administrations, who can then delegate to experts outside administration (in business, at universities or agencies). Each governance path shows a changing balance between representation and participation.
The ability of communities to bounce back after shocks or the ability to maintain/assert the performances of certain vital functions in the face of (more or less dramatic) change. One could think of upholding a form of democracy, of legal certainty, or environmental sustainability. Governance which can adapt and enhance adaptivity in society can be called governance for resilience. Resilience can best be safeguarded by maintaining a variety of perspectives and forms of expertise in governance, and by maintaining the checks and balance. Not necessarily by a specialized form of expertise on resilience or sustainability, which can undermine the institutions enabling adaptation in the long run.
Rule of law
The existence, consistency, fairness, efficiency, and implementation of a set of legal rules. Minimalist and maximalist interpretations exist, each connected with different governance and development models. In maximalist versions, rule of law includes criteria such as broad participation in governance, and more extensive notions of fairness, allowing for substantial redistribution of wealth, towards agreed upon common goals or goods. Rule of law is a description of good governance (1).
That what is perceived as giving a place, a community, a rural character. Rurality derives from images and narratives of the rural, which can be associated with models of governance, development models, narratives of the urban, or not. Governance and development models can make rurality explicit, or not. They can strongly push in the direction of one narrative, or of one rural organization disconnected from a rural narrative.
A specialized perspective on the world, marked by a unique logic, a unique way of making distinctions, and a unique form of self- reference. A communicative process that shapes historically contingent social practices of discourse, constituted by on-going processes of interpretation and reinterpretation of internal and external environments. Luhmann distinguished three categories of social systems: interactions, organizations and function systems.
The relation between two policies where one is the subspecies of the others, a tightly coupled form of framing, where the next step, the lower level, or the conceptual detailing is an application, a further articulation of the principles in the first policy in the second one.
The application of an approach on a limited domain, and the application of another one next door. At the same governance level, different approaches are combined, yet strictly delimited to one topic or policy domain.
Specific mechanisms that decide the duration, quality, intensity and institutionalization of the link between different social systems. Due to these structural couplings, events and communications in one system act as irritations for another social system and set off new events and communications there. One can speak of a structural coupling if a system presupposes certain features of its environment on an on-going basis and relies on them structurally.
In governance, both objects and subjects can emerge and transform. Governance alters discourse, and in discourse, objects and subjects transform together. Subjects exist outside governance, but the power relations and potential for power in governance, as well as the confrontation with other actors and other perspectives, creates more intense, faster, more directly politicized formation of subjects (1).
The balance between transparency and opacity in governance requires management. Extreme transparency is impossible and has negative effects, and the same is true for opacity. Governance is never entirely transparent, neither for the actors in governance nor for the rest of community. For governance itself maximum insight in the formal/ informal institutional configuration is important to avoid corruption and inefficiency (1).
Trust and distrust are understood as individuals’ dynamic expectation about the thoughts, behavior, and decisions of other people or organizations. These expectations are constantly balanced in terms of past experiences and what one person knows about another person or organization, often in relation to the wider configuration of actors and institutions. Trust is highly dynamic (1,2,3,4).
A story a community tells about itself, which provide cohesiveness in the interpretation of itself. A unifying narrative for the present can engender one for the future, a development vision, and a development vision can derive directly from existing unifying (identity) narratives, or be the product of more extensive deliberation, and deliberate construction of a narrative about a shared future which can guide governance now.
A unifying narrative for the future of a community, capable of integrating interests and policies. A vision can be a plan, or a comprehensive policy, it can be detailed, or a sketch.