This paper sets out to argue for rethinking governance through the prism of Montesquieu's model of checks and balances within state powers. It aims to explore the parallel between the eighteenth century concept of division of power and the current need to engage and balance the powers of the state, industry/markets and civil society in governance for global sustainability. It also takes Montesquieu's doctrine of balance of powers beyond static checks and balances into more dynamic innovation.
This is a conceptual paper that translates seventeenth and eighteenth century state theory into twenty‐first century governance. It also explores how models from innovation may be applied to discuss dynamic aspects of governance.
Drawing on the product‐cycle model, the paper shows how governance entrepreneurship may be explored and understood in innovation terms. The paper explores extractive industries' transparency initiative (EITI) as an illustration of governance innovation to address a gross governance and market failure in the extractive industries – the “resource curse”, particularly in developing countries. It shows how much of EITI's remarkable success in building institutional support is due to actors expanding from their traditional domains into new complementary roles. Each of the three powers – civil society, business, and politics – has exploited their comparative advantages in bringing the governance project forward.
Given the limitation of conventional governance models, the originality/value of the paper lie in its launch of new supplementary governance approaches and their application to the EITI case.
Midttun, A. (2010), "Montesquieu for the twenty‐first century: factoring civil society and business into global governance", Corporate Governance, Vol. 10 No. 1, pp. 97-109. https://doi.org/10.1108/14720701011021148Download as .RIS
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