Earlier this summer the first edition of the Handbook on Theories of Governance was published by Edgar Elgar. Edited by Chris Ansell and Jacob Torfing, the book provides a comprehensive and insightful overview of the wide range of theories relating to governance. The term governance has become increasingly popular in recent decades, as it captures for many scholars and practitioners the complexity of collective action that transcends more conventional terms and concepts like politics, policymaking, and government. However, it is used differently in different circles, and much confusion and misunderstandings has been the result. This book makes an important contribution to both documenting that variety of uses and providing an overarching framework for understanding them.
I contributed a chapter on “Information-Based Governance,” which serves as the first article in the section on theoretical modes of analysis. In the chapter I provide a summary of governance strategies that use information as the primary driver of collective action, reviewing the relevant literature on the topic and then discussing in more detail empirical work on the effectiveness of these strategies. I am honored to have had the opportunity to contribute to a volume with such a distinguished group of scholars, and I very much hope readers of the handbook find the chapter to be a useful addition to our understanding of the phenomenon of governance.