A theoretical framework for analyzing institutionalized domination in network governance arrangements
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AbstractNetwork governance, which involves an informal and self-regulated set of public and private actors, who together address various political and social problems, has substantially altered the institutional landscape concerning the formation and implementation of public policy. A common view is that this has made it possible to enhance pluralism and disperse political power by transferring power from the sovereign state to a wider set of private actors and stakeholders. I argue in this article that we need to analyze network governance in reference to the concept of domination and the theoretical tradition of neo-republicanism. For this purpose, I develop a theoretical framework that specifies five dimensions in which domination may arise and, conversely, be mitigated. An alternative image of network governance emerges which reveals that this type of governance may in fact generate a form of institutional domination that encompasses both citizens and civil society actors due to the arbitrary influence that certain network participants come to exercise upon the life choices of nonparticipants.
TypeArticle in journal