By Mark Bevir and R A W RhodesTo understand governance, we ask who is telling the story from within which tradition. We argue there is no essentialist notion of governance but at least four conceptions each rooted in a distinctive tradition. The first section of the paper describes the relevant traditions: Tory, Liberal, Whig and Socialist. The second section describes the different notions of governance associated with each tradition; intermediate institutions, marketizing public services, reinventing the constitution and trust and negotiation. We explain these distinct conceptions of governance as responses to the dilemmas of inflation and state overload. In the conclusion, we summarize how and why traditions change, concluding, there is no such thing as governance, but only the differing constructions of the several traditions.
Public Administration ISSN: ISSN: 1467-9299. Volume: 81.