Skip to main content

Overview: As government shifts from direct provision to use of third parties for service delivery, new challenges with respect to management, accountability and citizenship are raised. It may actually be harder to exercise control or ensure accountability when government is part of an interdependent network. This is why many scholars use the term governance rather than government to describe current conditions. These network governance arrangements alter the nature of citizenship as well, creating a democratic deficit. 

Network Governance and the Democratic Deficit

Network management is the key theme in government today, as compared to the hierarchy command and control approach of the past.  This creates special challenges for management and democracy which are outlined below.

Salamon, Lester M. (2002).  The Tools of Governance: A Guide to the New Governance.  "The New Governance and the Tools of Public Action:  An Introduction."  Oxford: Oxford University Press.  

Salamon details the transition from earlier government activities that focused on command and control direct delivery of goods and services to a new strategy that uses contracts, grants, loans, regulations, etc. to encourage a network of third parties to satisfy those demands. This leads to new challenges such as managing decentralized providers/decision-makers and blurred accountability from the diffusion of authority.

Rhodes, R.A.W., (1996).  "The New Governance: Governing without Government,Political Studies XLIV:652-667.  

Rhodes grapples with the significance and definitions of “governance” in a networked system.

Blanchard, Lloyd A., Charles C. Hinman, and Wilson Wong, 1997. "Market-Based Reforms in Government: Toward a Social Subcontract?Administration and Society 30(56) 483-512.  

The authors employ the concept of the Social Contract to examine changes in government/market relations within the US context, historically. The article starts by defining the fundamental reciprocal relationship between governments and citizens and examines how this relationship is being changed due to government restructuring.

Gutman, Dan 2000. “Public Purpose and Private Service: The Twentieth Century Culture of Contacting Out and the Evolving Law of Diffused Sovereignty,” Administrative Law Review 52: 859- 926.

Citizenship and Governance

This section traces the evolution of citizenship theory from T.H. Marshall’s concept of social citizenship, to newer concepts based on a recognition of globalization and the importance of culture and place.

Turner, Bryan S. 1990. "Outline of the Theory of Citizenship,Sociology 24(2) (May): 189-217.  

Turner critiques the unitary character of T.H. Marshall’s conceptual framework of citizenship. Citizenship, Turner proffers, is structured by two contradictory processes. Regionalization and localization define citizenship as linked to the development and cultural needs of each particular region. Simultaneously, globalization promotes stronger ties to global institutions and requires the transfer of political responsibilities and economic processes to the supra-national level.

Marshall, T.H. (1950).  "Citizenship and Social Class" in Citizenship Debates: A Reader ed. by Gershon Shafir,Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1998.  

Marshall suggests that citizenship is the basis for legalized social inequality and looks into England’s history to see how citizenship evolved over time from civil (individual) rights, to political rights, to social rights. Marshall reveals the inherent conflict between social citizenship and capitalist market relations.

Holston, James and Arjun Appadurai (1999).  "Introduction" in Cities and Citizenship ed. by James Holston.  

Holston and Appadurai define citizenship as a concept including cultural, civil and socio-economic rights. They suggest that there is a transition from citizenship as a national unifier to a city-scaled local definition of personal rights including the right of difference.

Katz, Michael (2001). "Work, Democracy, and Citizenship," epilogue of The Price of Citizenship: Redefining the American Welfare StateNew York: Metropolitan Books.    

In the Epilogue to his book, Katz discusses the tension between ideas of citizenship and the welfare state. He cautions against America’s use of work as a criterion for full citizenship, and outlines the limits of the market as a structuring mechanism for democratic governments.

Miraftab, Faranak. 2004. "Neoliberalism and Casualization of Public Sector Services: The Case of Waste Collection Services in Cape Town, South Africa," International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, 28(4): 874-892.  

By presenting a series of cases regarding waste collection privatization in post-apartheid South Africa, Miraftab shows how privatization of basic public services can have severe consequences with respect to gender and race.

Purcell, M. (2008). Recapturing Democracy : Neoliberalization and the Struggle for Alternative Urban Futures. New York: Routledge.

Purcell’s ‘Recapturing Democracy’ presents the idea that the global economy and cities have been “neoliberalized” and therefore social life has become increasingly subjected to free markets, competitive relations, and minimal state regulation of capital.