in T Takala and H Matti (eds), Concise Encyclopedia of Applied Ethics in the Social Sciences, Cheltenham: Edward Elgar

Ciarán O’Kelly


April 1, 2024

A preprint of the chapter is available here

The book is available here

Governance at its heart involves a multiplicity of mechanisms for exercising power in and over policy action and public life. Whole the state certainly provides some of those mechanisms in a governance model, other actors may also supply mechanisms or even lead a policy process. Policy networks across multiple levels of action are linked in the governance era to an expanded range of policy options and to a narrowed sense of what makes people tick; how they choose between options; and what happens when they are granted discretionary power. Questions of what works in governance are emphasised while at the same time the era has emerged from a sense of the state’s limitations: on what the state either cannot or should not do.


BibTeX citation:
  author = {O’Kelly, Ciarán},
  editor = {Tuija and Häyry, Matti , Takala},
  publisher = {Edward Elgar},
  title = {Governance},
  booktitle = {Concise Encyclopedia of Applied Ethics in the Social
  date = {2024-04-01},
  address = {Cheltenham},
  url = {},
  langid = {en}
For attribution, please cite this work as:
O’Kelly, Ciarán. 2024. “Governance.” In Concise Encyclopedia of Applied Ethics in the Social Sciences, edited by Takala Tuija and Häyry, Matti. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar.