Overestimating the Shift from Government to Governance: Evidence from Swiss Metropolitan Areas
Article first published online: 7 SEP 2012
© 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Volume 26, Issue 3, pages 397–423, July 2013
How to Cite
Koch, P. (2013), Overestimating the Shift from Government to Governance: Evidence from Swiss Metropolitan Areas. Governance, 26: 397–423. doi: 10.1111/j.1468-0491.2012.01600.x
- Issue published online: 20 MAY 2013
- Article first published online: 7 SEP 2012
There is an oft-stated claim in political science research that public sector reforms in Western democracies are consistent with a shift from government to governance. This article challenges that claim. Based on a comparative analysis of governance reforms in Swiss metropolitan areas, the article reveals that what seems to be a shift to governance may turn out to be a path to government, however, including a change either from the local to the metropolitan level or from general-purpose authorities to task-specific jurisdictions. Further, the article analyzes the political dynamics behind governance reforms. It shows that exogenous pressures put existing governance schemes under strain. Its impact, however, is mediated by the initial institutional setting and the narratives responding to case-specific political dilemmas.