Network governance: Culture, Agency and Power
New DIIS Working Paper examines three principles of non-state informal organisationDo network theory really offer a suitable concept for the theorization of informal processes of economic regulation and institutional change? This working paper challenges both essentialist and skeptical attitudes to networks through an examination of the positive and negative effects of network governance in contemporary societies in a range of regional contexts. The analysis focuses on three broad principles of non-state organization – culture, agency and power – and their role in shaping processes of economic and political governance. It will be shown that the effective theorization of informal regulatory processes requires attention to the specific interaction of culture, agency and power in particular social contexts. Emphasizing a grounded theory approach, this article draws on cutting-edge network research from East Asia, Eastern Europe, Africa and Western societies to develop theoretical tools for the comparative study of non-state governance and its impact on wider processes of institutional change.
The present series of working papers emerged from the “Markets for Peace? Informal economic networks and political agency” research network sponsored by the Danish Social Science Research Council (FSE) and hosted by DIIS between 2007 and 2009. The aim of the interdisciplinary research network was to gain a better understanding of the role and significance of informal economic networks and activities on political processes. The research network explored the dynamics of informal economic networks and activities; national, regional and international attempts to regulate informal economic activities; and the ways in which informal economic networks and activities are or are not converted into political influence. Presently a book is under preparation, in which the working papers published in this series will all feature with some changes anticipated. The book is edited by Lars Buur, Dennis Rodgers, Finn Stepputat and Christian Højbjerg.