Governance and good governance

Introduction to the special issue of TRAMES


Vello Pettai1, Eveli Illing2


1University of Tartu,

 2PRAXIS Center for Policy Studies


Over the past decade and a half, the concepts of ‘governance’ and ‘good governance’ have become an important focus of social science research as well as a vocabulary unto its own in both the scholarly and political world. While governance as a concept is therefore not in itself newborn, it has lately received more thorough and systematic attention. As noted by Jon Pierre, ‘governance theory has tremendous potential in opening up alternative ways of looking at political institutions, domestic global linkages, transnational cooperation and different forms of public private exchange’ (2000:241). According to Kooiman, there is still an optimistic stage of ‘creative disorder’, though there are several boundaries to be crossed: conceptual boundaries, border lines between theory and practice and last but not least between ‘world views’ (2003:5). In some form or another, this issue challenges all of these aspects and aims to shed more light onto the concepts, the changes they have brought as well as the future they await.