|Title||Governance, Coordination and Evaluation: the case for an epistemological focus and a return to C.E. Lindblom|
While much political science research focuses on conceptualizing and analyzing various forms of governance, there remains a need to develop frameworks and criteria for governance evaluation (Torfing et al 2012). The post-positivist turn, influential in recent governance theory, emphasizes the complexity, uncertainty and the contested normative dimensions of policy analysis. Yet a central evaluative question still arises concerning the capacity of governance networks to facilitate ‘coordination’. The classic contributions of Charles Lindblom, although pre-dating the contemporary governance literature, can enable further elaboration of and engagement with this question. Lindblom’s conceptualisation of coordination challenges in the face of complexity shares with post-positivism a recognition of the inevitably contested nature of policy goals. Yet Lindblom suggests a closer focus on the complex, dynamically evolving, broadly ‘economic’ choices and trade-offs involved in defining and delivery policy for enabling these goals to be achieved and the significant epistemological challenges that they raise for policy-makers. This focus can complement and enrich both post-positivist scholarship and the process and incentives-orientated approaches which predominate in contemporary political science research on coordination in governance. This is briefly illustrated through a short case study evaluating governance for steering markets towards delivering low and zero carbon homes in England.
|Journal||Political Research Quarterly|
|Journal citation||69 (1), pp. 30-42|
|Accepted author manuscript|
|Digital Object Identifier (DOI)||doi:10.1177/1065912915620048|
|Published||20 Dec 2015|