Power, Knowledge, and Conflict in the Shaping of Commons Governance
Paper in proceedings, 2011
This article aims at contributing to governance conceptualization and its application to case study analyses. Two of the challenges which the theoretical and empirical work in the article addresses concern facilitation of the comparability of diverse governance cases and a specification of several key mechanisms of governance formation and reform. A proposed model of the architecture of governance systems – their major components and inter-linkages – contributes, as argued and illustrated here, to greater comparability among cases and with the possibility of improved accumulation of knowledge about governance systems. The work also identifies a few key drivers explaining how governance systems are established, maintained or changed through power, knowledge, and contestation/conflict processes.These tools are applied to empirical cases of governance structure and their functioning and reformation. I consider briefly for comparative purposes food security, chemicals, gender relations, and Baltic fisheries as areas of EU governance. The paper is divided into three sections. Section I introduces the basic conceptualization and tools of analysis. Section II elaborates the key concepts and tools presented in Section I, in particular considering a variety of cases of the functioning and transformation of governance systems. Section III is a brief conclusion pointing out the originality of the theory as well as its applicability.