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Governance Through Social Learning

Gilles Paquet

Publication Year: 1999

Governance connotes the way an organization, an economy, or a social system co-ordinates and steers itself. Some insist that governing is strictly a top-down process guided by authority and coercion, while others emphasize that it emerges bottom-up through the workings of the free market. This book rejects these simplistic views in favour of a more distributed view of governance based on a mix of coercion, quid pro quo market exchange and reciprocity, on a division of labour among the private, public, and civic sectors, and on the co-evolution of these different integration mechanisms. This book is for both practitioners confronted with governance issues and for citizens trying to make sense of the world around them.

Published by: University of Ottawa Press

Series: Governance Series

Title Page, Copyright

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pp. iii-iv


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pp. v

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Introduction - Governing, Governance, and Governability

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pp. 1-19

Over the past 10 years, I have worked on the problems raised by the governing, the governance, and the governability of complex organizations and socio-economic-political systems. This terrain has been explored by many researchers. Indeed, over the last 10 years, these themes have become the centre of...

Part I - A Framework

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1. New Patterns of Governance

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pp. 23-40

The globalization of production, the dematerialization of economic activity, and a wave of democratization, together with sweeping demographic changes and much social upheaval have generated growing complexity, turbulence, and interdependence in the world's socioeconomic environment. This has led to a...

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2. Tackling Wicked Problems

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pp. 41-52

First, the globalization of production has generated new worldwide networks and greatly increased global competition. Few national economies have escaped some fracturing as a result of these external pressures, as their exposed and sheltered sectors have crafted quite different strategies and followed...

Part II - Social Learning in Action: A - International Perspectives

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3. Elegant but Not Helpful to Navigation: Social Sciences Research and the Free Trade Debate

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pp. 55-77

From time to time, major issues of public interest provide an opportunity for social scientists to unpack their gear and show what new insights their "outillage mental " can generate and what new solutions their analyses suggest for tackling urgent and complex social issues. Such moments are always greeted with...

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4. Science and Technology Policy Under Free Trade

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pp. 79-90

The structure of the national output of advanced economies has changed dramatically since the Second World War: it has shifted more and more away from the production of material goods toward the production of services and information. Knowledge and information have become both a dominant form...

B - National Perspectives

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5. A Social Learning Framework for a Wicked Problem: The Case of Energy

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pp. 93-108

Mathematics and dogma often "serve as a substitute for the usually arduous task of coming to grips with the actual phenomena" (Kapp 1960; Georgescu- Roegen 1975). In the world of energy, there has been a flurry of dogma and mathematical models, most often built on mechanical definitions of crises — limited stocks of resources failing to meet unbounded wants. As might be...

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6. The Environment-Energy Interface: Social Learning Versus the Invisible Foot

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pp. 109-123

Despite all the pleasant rhetoric at the last Houston Summit and the formal negotiations between the United States and Canada regarding acid rain, neither government is resolved to taking a strong stand on the energy and environment issues they face. Both governments welcome additional studies,...

C - Social Perspectives

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7. Multiculturalism as National Policy

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pp. 127-136

Multiculturalism is a label for many things in Canada: our multi-ethnic cultural mosaic, a policy of the federal government, and an ideology of cultural pluralism (Kallen 1982a). As a Canadian policy, it is one of the most daring initiatives of the last 25 years, but it has been assessed in varying ways, ranging...

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8. Liberal Education as Synecdoche

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pp. 137-150

The conference "Who's Afraid of Liberal Education?"** was inspired by a wave of concern in Canada and the United States about the decay of cultural literacy, the suggestion that a change in postsecondary curricula might be the answer, and some recognition that the postsecondary enterprise was not doing much...

D - Administrative Perspectives

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9. How to Scheme Virtuously: The Role of Public Service Commissions in Meeting the Needs of Changing Societies

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pp. 153-167

It is presumptuous for a career academic to address practical men and women holding important responsibilities in human affairs on the role of their agencies in meeting the needs of changing societies. This borders on temerity when the group of experts represents a wide array of cultural and national...

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10. Granting Councils in Search of Excellence: Dynamic Conservatism Versus Social Learning

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pp. 169-179

The great buzzword of the 1980s was excellence. Through a perversion ascribable to illiteracy and self-interest, a comparative — excellens — has been transformed into a superlative and used to confer some nec plus ultra status on virtuosity in certain types of activities. This idea of excellence is a modern...

Part III - New Directions

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11. The Strategic State

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pp. 183-203

The Canadian state is in crisis — at a point of decision. On the external front, the ground is in motion. Canada lives in an environment where knowledge and time-based competition have become the determining sources of competitive advantage; the mortgage of geography has waned and a dematerialization...

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12. Betting on Moral Contracts

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pp. 205-215

We already know much about the most important challenges that public management in Canada is likely to face over the next decade. Further, we have good reason to believe that administrative restructuring, technological fixes or gadgets, and soft-headed sloganeering about total quality or client-orientation...

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13. Distributed Governance and Transversal Leadership

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pp. 217-231

Quebec-Canada constitutional carpentering has become a national cottage industry. For years now, aficionados have met in different forums in different weeks of the year to debate slightly different versions of the same basic scenarios. After a while, these ballet-like exchanges have ceased to generate...

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Conclusion - The Burden of Office, Ethics, and Connoisseurship

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pp. 233-245

The notions of accountability and ethics are poorly understood, and the adequacy of existing frameworks for analyzing them may be responsible for much of our inability to contribute to more effective institutions of public policy (Uhr 1992; Dubnick 1996). Although both terms are used freely by public administrators,...


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pp. 247-272

E-ISBN-13: 9780776616056
E-ISBN-10: 0776616056
Print-ISBN-13: 9780776604886
Print-ISBN-10: 0776604880

Page Count: 272
Publication Year: 1999

Series Title: Governance Series