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Article
Publication date: 1 March 2011

Fred Lee

I have taken this essay on Mark Bevirʼs latest book as an opportunity to critically reflect on diverse perspectives within radical democratic theory. My first aim here is…

Abstract

I have taken this essay on Mark Bevirʼs latest book as an opportunity to critically reflect on diverse perspectives within radical democratic theory. My first aim here is to simply describe Bevirʼs historical and interpretive account of governance in general, interdisciplinary terms. My second aim is the more specific, disciplinary one of comparing the scholarly contributions of Mark Bevirʼs Democratic Governance with those of Chantal Mouffeʼs The Democratic Paradox and Archon Fungʼs Empowered Participation, two influential publications in contemporary political theory. I conclude by discussing the relative powers and limits of Bevirʼs genealogical, Mouffeʼs deconstructive, and Fungʼs procedural approaches to radical democratic theory.

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International Journal of Organization Theory & Behavior, vol. 14 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1093-4537

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Article
Publication date: 1 March 2016

Colin Macleod

This paper offers a critical commentary on Mark Bevirʼs recent book A Theory of Governance from the perspective of normative political philosophy. It explores three ways…

Abstract

This paper offers a critical commentary on Mark Bevirʼs recent book A Theory of Governance from the perspective of normative political philosophy. It explores three ways in which Bevirʼs analysis can be brought into dialogue with political philosophy. First, it considers the role of generalizations in successful explanations of social phenomena. Second, it explores how a decentred theory of governance can help identify solutions to important social problems. Third, it explores the relation between Bevirʼs account of governance and theories of deliberative democracy.

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International Journal of Organization Theory & Behavior, vol. 19 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1093-4537

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Article
Publication date: 1 March 2011

Ian John Greener

This paper welcomes Bevir’s Democratic Governance, applauding especially its theoretical coherence and sophistication, and its conclusion that we need a more dialogic…

Abstract

This paper welcomes Bevir’s Democratic Governance, applauding especially its theoretical coherence and sophistication, and its conclusion that we need a more dialogic, diverse notion of democracy. However, it also raises concerns regarding Bevir’s decentred approach to the state and his non-foundationalism. In the former case it suggests that the demise of the role of the state has been over-estimated, especially in the wake of the financial crisis. In the latter case, it claims that to understand the problems public services face, it is often necessary to embrace a materiality that non-foundationalism finds it hard to accommodate. The paper illustrates concerns by showing how these combined in the development of Labour policy in the UK between 1997 and 2010 o produce an account that has a very different emphasis to Bevir’s.

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International Journal of Organization Theory & Behavior, vol. 14 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1093-4537

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International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, vol. 37 no. 11-12
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-333X

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Article
Publication date: 12 July 2021

Kevin Orr, Sarah Ayres and Mark Bevir

This article sets out a new research agenda for decentered public leadership. Nested in the concept of decentered theory, it examines the messy and contested nature of…

Abstract

This article sets out a new research agenda for decentered public leadership. Nested in the concept of decentered theory, it examines the messy and contested nature of public leadership practices in different contexts. Drawing on recent empirical studies that have adopted a decentered approach to examining public leadership, it sets out a future research agenda that places individuals, history and context at the heart of explanations for public leadership in action.

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International Journal of Public Leadership, vol. 17 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2056-4929

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Article
Publication date: 1 March 2011

Elizabeth Ben-Ishai

I explore Bevir’s approach to interpretive social science and its implications for his study of governance. I make two arguments: one methodological and one substantive…

Abstract

I explore Bevir’s approach to interpretive social science and its implications for his study of governance. I make two arguments: one methodological and one substantive. First, I argue that we should think of the philosophy of interpretive social science as necessarily tied to some chosen method of recovering knowledge, be it local or expert knowledge. Without such a recovery of knowledge, interpretive analysis of local reasoning is impossible. Second, I argue that the recovery of not only expert knowledge - Bevir's primary focus - but also the local knowledge of citizens who are affected by these reforms, ought to play a central role in our understanding of governance.

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International Journal of Organization Theory & Behavior, vol. 14 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1093-4537

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Article
Publication date: 1 March 2016

Amit Ron

Mark Bevirʼs A Theory of Governance proposes a Copernican revolution in the way we understand the role of social science in public administration. Conventional accounts…

Abstract

Mark Bevirʼs A Theory of Governance proposes a Copernican revolution in the way we understand the role of social science in public administration. Conventional accounts assign social science the role of instructing public administrators how to steer its machinery towards the public interest, based on social scienceʼs alleged ability to explain how people act and what they need. Bevir offers a vision of public administration in which ordinary people take a leading role by engaging in dialogues in which they articulate their needs. In this vision, the role of social science is to facilitate those public dialogues. This essay offers a sympathetic critical evaluation of Bevirʼs exploration of what it means to understand social science as a facilitator.

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International Journal of Organization Theory & Behavior, vol. 19 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1093-4537

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Article
Publication date: 1 March 2011

Mark J. Kaswan

“Democracy” can be defined in different ways, each of which offers a different way of looking at the relationship between democracy and governance. Mark Bevir’s (2010…

Abstract

“Democracy” can be defined in different ways, each of which offers a different way of looking at the relationship between democracy and governance. Mark Bevir’s (2010) Democratic Governance offers a genealogical account of the development of this relationship from the late 19th century, focusing on the role of particular theories of social science, and raising serious questions about the degree to which contemporary practices conflict with democratic ideals. Bevir suggests a more radical, participatory approach as a way of resolving this conflict. Here I extend his genealogical account to include two thinkers, Jeremy Bentham and William Thompson, who laid much of the groundwork for modern social science, but with very different ideas about democracy. Extending the genealogy to Bentham and Thompson opens the way for a consideration of some aspects of the relationship between democracy and governance not included in Bevir’s account, and raises questions as to whether the different models of democracy can be integrated in the way he suggests.

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International Journal of Organization Theory & Behavior, vol. 14 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1093-4537

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Article
Publication date: 1 March 2016

Gary S. Marshall

Governance is central to our current understanding of public administration and policy. Mark Bevirʼs work provides governance studies solid epistemological grounding…

Abstract

Governance is central to our current understanding of public administration and policy. Mark Bevirʼs work provides governance studies solid epistemological grounding through a social constructionist approach which gives rise to a decentered theory of governance. This article explains decentered theory by examining the entrepreneurial subject as an artifact of neo-liberal governance. In doing so, it explores the key concepts that give shape to decentered theory.

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International Journal of Organization Theory & Behavior, vol. 19 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1093-4537

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Article
Publication date: 1 March 2011

Thad Williamson

This essay critically examines possibilities for expanding democratic participatory governance in light of Mark Bevir’s treatment of the subject in his book Democratic…

Abstract

This essay critically examines possibilities for expanding democratic participatory governance in light of Mark Bevir’s treatment of the subject in his book Democratic Governance. The essay argues that a theory of participatory governance should retain an explicit role for expert analysis, and that the appropriate scope given to such analysis will vary by policy area. The essay also argues that the present organization of capitalist economies mandates a heavy reliance on experts, and that a full-blown account of expanding participatory governance thus must be paired with an account of how to achieve a more democratic political economy. Such an account should also specify how democratic-minded public officials can contribute to greater public participation in policymaking.

Details

International Journal of Organization Theory & Behavior, vol. 14 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1093-4537

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