Network governance can enhance democratic practice by furnishing new routes for actors to deliberate, make, and execute public policy. But it is hindered by a lack of political oversight, limited democratic competence of new organizational forms, and informality of operation. Little research has been conducted on the democratic performance of governance networks, and the methodology is poorly developed. Quality-of-democracy studies of national governmental and political systems offer a starting point. Their criteria-based method is useful in accessing the democratic “hardware” of formal entities, such as partnerships and hybrids, but it does not enable data to be gathered on democratic “software”—the informal day-to-day practices of actors in networks. Interpretive approaches offer a way forward. Narrative analysis, qualitative interviews using a criteria-based instrument, and Q-methodology provide routes into democratic software. They enable the researcher to move beyond the analysis of institutional nodes and to understand the democratic performance of the wider governance network.