Challenging Governance Theory: From Networks to Hegemony

Theories heralding the rise of network governance have dominated for a generation. Yet, empirical research suggests that claims for the transformative potential of networks are exaggerated. Jonathan Davies’ Challenging Governance Theory: From Networks to Hegemony takes a critical look at contemporary governance theory, elaborating a Gramscian alternative.
This stimulating book argues that, although the ideology of networks has been a vital element in the neoliberal hegemonic project, there are major structural impediments to accomplishing it. While networking remains important, the hierarchical and coercive state is vital for the maintenance of social order and integral to the institutions of contemporary governance. Reconsidering it from Marxist and Gramscian perspectives, Davies argues that the hegemonic ideology of networks is utopian and rejects the claim that there has been a transformation from ‘government’ to ‘governance’.
This topical and important book lays out a powerful critique of current calls to order in social policy and public services and pushes forward new thinking about the relationship between state and civil society.

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