Meta-governance and the uk nuclear Industry: a limiting Case

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НазваниеMeta-governance and the uk nuclear Industry: a limiting Case
Дата конвертации15.02.2013
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Approaching Metagovernance

How you define a question obviously affects the way you approach the answering of the question. The society-centred literature on metagovernance tends to focus lot of discussion of metagovernance on the tactics and strategies used by government and other actors. (Sørensen, 2006; Sørensen and Torfing, 2009 ; Kickert, Klijn, and Koppenjan 1999 and Klijn, Koopenjan and Termeer, 1995). The argument is that what is required are new skills in order to operate the world of network management is developed by other writers who seek to provide practitioner oriented advice and theory (Salamon, 2002; Goldsmith and Eggers, 2004) In contrast, the state centric approach takes metagovernance to be about the state finding a way of working through networks of governance to achieve its ends. Jessop (2002: 52-3; 240-3) drawing on the work of Dunsire (1996) refers to metagovernance as the ‘organization of the conditions of governance’ and “…the rearticulating and collibrating different modes of governance” (Jessop 2002:240-1). Jessop sees metagovernance as a ‘containing process’ undertaken by the state but prone to failure. Others have fleshed out these insights and come to more favourable conclusions about the prospects for effectiveness in metagovernance practice by emphasising the extent of resources and capacities still at the disposal of states (Bell and Hindmoor, 2009). This perspective is less concerned with public officials play the game of metagovernance and more focused upon their capacity to do so. This is framed by a concern with issues of power and politics rather than management and administration. Bell and Hindmoor (2009:62-6) recognize the relational component of metagovernance, the way that the relationship between state and society is managed, but give their approach to metagovernance a harder edge by noting the institutional capacities available to the state.

Drawing on the range of wider writings on the capacity of the state (Evans 1995, 1997; Weiss, 1998; Hobson, 2000) Bell and Hindmoor (2009:190) argue that embedded states, those intertwined in complex governance arrangements, can metagovern effectively and “…are not undermined by close links with powerful economic actors, but rely on them.” Bell and Hindmoor (2009: 191) conclude their study by announcing that “…governments have enhanced their capacity to achieve goals by developing closer relationships with non-state actors.” Taking our cue from these insights, the focus of metagovernance analysis may be shifted from the techniques and tactics themselves used to pursue policy goals, to the way in which man-made institutional structures provide a capable state with a capacity to metagovern.

Institutions matter and because they do argue Bell and Hindmoor (2009); the state derives its power from its sustained institutional position. The move to governance with and through societal institutions has not weakened the power of the state and indeed may have given new opportunities to and oversee society. The first key resources available to the state are its monopoly control of the legitimate use of violence that in turn underwrites its capacity to exercise authority. Governments can nationalise banks, ban certain food stuffs and order the arrest and detention of citizens and residents. It can - with legitimacy - tell actors to do things. The second key resource available to the state is its power to set agendas and its capacity to persuade. Policy goals and direction stem from governments and they carry the democratic authority to do so. Beyond these two powers capable states have a focused capacity for decision-making, a strong administrative apparatus, fiscal resources, and an array of policy instruments (Bell and Hindmoor, 2009: 61-2).

We need to engage in one final manoeuvre in order to provide a theoretically coherent account of the powers of a metagoverning state. We need an organising device. Fortunately there is one to hand by using the concepts of nodality, authority, resources and capacity which are derived from Hood’s (1986) NATO framework. This framework was originally developed by Hood (1986) and developed further by Hood and Margetts (2007). Government is understood to have access to four specific tools - Nodality, Authority, Treasure and Organization and it is necessary to consider each tool in turn and see how they captured in summary form the state-centric form of metagovernance theory.

The concept of nodality refers to the position of an organization within a network although no distinction is made between the position of an actor in an established network, its ability to create or reconfigure networks or gain entry to a network. Hood and Margetts (2007) argue nodality is necessary for effective communication within a network and that nodal actors can communicate more effectively than their peers and will therefore have a greater degree of influence. Bell and Hindmoor (2009) are clear that the state has the legitimacy and democratic capacity to undertake this role. Authority refers to the ability of an actor to direct or constrain the actions of others. Again, according to Bell and Hindmoor, the capable state has authority that stems from its control of regulatory and legislative systems and its ability to deploy force and its perceived legitimacy. Although the term “…treasure…” is usually understood to refer to financial resources (Hood, 1986), it can be expanded to include any form of asset that can be exchanged or transferred to others. Again, Bell and Hindmoor are clear that the capable state is still able to access many resources. The final element of the policy tools framework is organizational capacity. This is refers to the ability of an organization utilise the resources it controls and the institutional structures that enable organizations to act in the first place. Bell and Hindmoor concur and argue that the capable state is able to bring substantial administrative and organisational capacity into play. We are now in a position to state boldly the theory of metagovernance we propose to test:

“A capable state with access to the assets of nodality, authority, treasure and organisational capacity can metagovern effectively to achieve its policy goals with and through powerful economic actors.”

The remainder of this paper discusses the attempts of the British government to revive the nuclear industry through metagovernance against this proposition.

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