Governance: A Garbage Can Perspective

  • Jon Pierre
  • B. Guy Peters


Governance is a very old concept, and an even older reality. Societies have always required some form of collective steering and management. Variations in the political and economic order have produced different answers to the fundamental questions about how to provide that steering for society, and how to cope with the range of challenges arising from the society, but some answer has been required, and continues to be required. Governance is not a constant, but rather tends to change as needs and values change. The usual answer to the questions has been the state, but solutions that have been effective, and popular with the public, at one point in time may rather quickly become both ineffective and politically unpopular, and governing represents continuing adaptations of political and administrative activities to changes in the environment, not least of which are changes in the ideas of what constitutes appropriate modes of developing and implementing collective goals.


Public Sector Political Participation Policy Process Decision Situation Policy Problem 
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Copyright information

© Jon Pierre and B. Guy Peters 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jon Pierre
    • 1
  • B. Guy Peters
    • 2
  1. 1.University of GothenburgSweden
  2. 2.University of PittsburghUSA

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