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May 18, 2023

At the end of the twentieth century and the beginning of the twenty-first century, the concept of governance has taken on a central part in contemporary debates in the area of social sciences and particularly in the field of public administration. The concept has been used frequently, but often with quite different meanings and implications. It is considered that a major reason for the increasing popularity of the concept, in contrast to the narrower term of government, is its capacity to cover the whole range of institutions and relationships involved in the process of governing.

This paper discusses a variety of meanings and different approaches to governance, but its main focus is on the capacity of government to make and implement policy, or, in short, just to steer society. Thus, thinking about governance is thinking about how to steer the economy and society, and how to reach collective goals.

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