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Putting Civil Society in Its PlaceGovernance, Metagovernance and Subjectivity$
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Bob Jessop

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781447354956

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: May 2021

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781447354956.001.0001

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Semantic, institutional and spatio-temporal fixes

Semantic, institutional and spatio-temporal fixes

(p.87) 4 Semantic, institutional and spatio-temporal fixes
Putting Civil Society in Its Place

Bob Jessop

Policy Press

Claus Offe notes that, since every mode of state policy-making is prone to failure, either a stable state is impossible or can only exist where the state can flexibly shift modes of policy-making as the failures of prevailing policy-making threaten its rationality and legitimacy. This depends on the strategic capacities to sustain exchange, negotiation, hierarchy, or solidarity as well as the specific nature of the coordination problems. Whilst increasing functional differentiation makes hierarchical coordination increasingly problematic, the structural and strategic conditions for effective governance may not be developed enough to outperform continued reliance on hierarchy or neo-liberal preferences for marketized solutions. We must examine the self-reflexive, self-diagnosing, and self-modifying capacities of governing agents and their institutional capacities to redesign themselves in response to failures. Effective governance and metagovernance depend on requisite complexity, requisite reflexivity, and requisite irony.

Keywords:   Metagovernance, Requisite complexity, Requisite reflexivity, Requisite irony, State failure, Successful governance

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