27 February 2018
The study of governance is tantamount to a study of the cohesive forces that keep governance systems together and the study of their evolution processes. Governance systems, (particularly those premised on a shared understanding for process rules), are subject to unique challenges of adaptation. If they are too flexible they will work to the advantage of those with most power, if they are too inflexible they are likely to become obsolete or unrepresentative. And since all politics involves a level of contestation, governance systems are a means for resolving potential conflict while allowing the polity to deal with internal and external challenges. These challenges can have a varying degree of predictability and severity. While the degree to a governance system retains its key functions in dealing with these challenges we can then associate with governance robustness and resilience (R&R).
And this way a networks lens can provide unique insights. The cohesive force that keeps a governance system together comprise ties between the relevant entities (actors, collectives, organizations etc) and the shared understandings between them. The study of governance R&R can therefore be a study of governance networks, ideally combined with a study of governance institutions.
To consider the type of challenges that are faced by actors in a governance system we would have to consider the process of institutionalized governance change and the prevalence of shocks. These jointly affect the structure of relations between actors and can be therefore considered to reflect governance R&R.
Last edited: 01 March 2018
Systemic Risk and Network Dynamics
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