Volume 14, Number 4, Winter 2011

CONTENTS


Digital Governance Success Factors and Barriers to Success
in Prague ......................................................................................................................... 451
J. Melitski, T. J. Carrizales, A. Manoharan and M. Holzer

SYMPOSIUM

Democracy, Social Science, and Governance: A Symposium
on Mark Bevir's Democratic Governance .................................................................. 473
M. J. Kaswan

Symposium Introduction .............................................................................................. 474
M. J. Kaswan

Negotiating the Narrow Road between Institutionalism and
Non-Foundationalism, and the Difference It Makes ............................................... 480
I. J. Greener

Putting Experts in their Place: The Challenge of Expanding
Participation While Solving Problems ....................................................................... 500
T. Williamson

A Bridge to Nowhere: Connecting Representative and Radical
Models of Democracy ................................................................................................... 514
M. J. Kaswan

Who Interprets the World? Interpretive Social Science and
Mark Bevir's Democratic Governance ........................................................................ 537
E. Ben-Ishai

Mark Bevir's Democratic Governance in Radical Democratic
Perspective ..................................................................................................................... 554
F. Lee

Response: Interpretive Social Science and Democratic Theory .......................... 576
M. Bevir

ABSTRACT. This essay critically examines possibilities for expanding
democratic participatory governance in light of Mark Bevir's treatment of the
subject in his book Democratic Governance. The essay argues that a theory
of participatory governance should retain an explicit role for expert analysis,
and that the appropriate scope given to such analysis will vary by policy area.
The essay also argues that the present organization of capitalist economies
mandates a heavy reliance on experts, and that a full-blown account of
expanding participatory governance thus must be paired with an account of
how to achieve a more democratic political economy. Such an account
should also specify how democratic-minded public officials can contribute to
greater public participation in policymaking.

ABSTRACT. I summarize my views on democratic governance before
responding to critics. Governance arose partly from the impact of modernist
social science on public policy and it limits the space for democratic action.
My preferred alternative is an interpretive social science inspiring more
participatory and dialogic democratic practices. In defending these
arguments, I concentrate on the nature of interpretive social science and its
relation to democratic theory. I define interpretive social science in
theoretical terms as based on recognition of the role of meanings in human
life and the holistic and historical nature of meanings. This interpretive
social science does not lead to any particular methods or topics, but it does
rule out reified and deterministic appeals to structures. Democratic renewal
depends on promoting interpretive social science, not institutional
blueprints.

ABSTRACT. This paper welcomes Bevir's Democratic Governance,
applauding especially its theoretical coherence and sophistication, and its
conclusion that we need a more dialogic, diverse notion of democracy.
However, it also raises concerns regarding Bevir's decentred approach to the
state and his non-foundationalism. In the former case it suggests that the
demise of the role of the state has been over-estimated, especially in the
wake of the financial crisis. In the latter case, it claims that to understand
the problems public services face, it is often necessary to embrace a
materiality that non-foundationalism finds it hard to accommodate. The
paper illustrates concerns by showing how these combined in the
development of Labour policy in the UK between 1997 and 2010 o produce
an account that has a very different emphasis to Bevir's.

ABSTRACT. I have taken this essay on Mark Bevir's latest book as an
opportunity to critically reflect on diverse perspectives within radical
democratic theory. My first aim here is to simply describe Bevir's historical
and interpretive account of governance in general, interdisciplinary terms.
My second aim is the more specific, disciplinary one of comparing the
scholarly contributions of Mark Bevir's Democratic Governance with those of
Chantal Mouffe's The Democratic Paradox and Archon Fung's Empowered
Participation, two influential publications in contemporary political theory. I
conclude by discussing the relative powers and limits of Bevir's genealogical,
Mouffe's deconstructive, and Fung's procedural approaches to radical
democratic theory.

ABSTRACT. Proper identification, allocation, and pricing of risks are critical
to effective procurement and project delivery, particularly when contracts
specify the intended performance instead of how the work is to be
performed. This paper presents an overview of the sources of project risks
when performance specifications are used for highway infrastructure
procurement. The findings are based on a comprehensive literature review
and interviews with subject-matter experts involved in developing
performance specifications for highway infrastructure. The authors conclude
that wider use of performance specifications in U.S. highway infrastructure
construction requires a fundamental reassessment of risk allocation and
pricing. Highway agencies and the contractors need to realign their
respective organizational capabilities with the goal of using performance
specifications as a facilitator of innovation, a goal that remains elusive after
decades of applied research.

ABSTRACT. I explore Bevir's approach to interpretive social science and its
implications for his study of governance. I make two arguments: one
methodological and one substantive. First, I argue that we should think of
the philosophy of interpretive social science as necessarily tied to some
chosen method of recovering knowledge, be it local or expert knowledge.
Without such a recovery of knowledge, interpretive analysis of local
reasoning is impossible. Second, I argue that the recovery of not only expert
knowledge – Bevir's primary focus – but also the local knowledge of citizens
who are affected by these reforms, ought to play a central role in our
understanding of governance.

ABSTRACT. In 2010 a series of case studies were conducted in Prague,
Czech Republic, examining the implementation and management of digital
governance. These best practice case studies were chosen from among
Prague's twenty-two administrative districts and through those findings this
article discusses critical success factors and barriers to successful
implementation of digital government initiatives. A qualitative review of both
critical success factors and barriers is discussed at the individual,
organizational, and strategic levels and the paper concludes by highlighting
strategies managers can take to increase e-government performance. When
considered together, the critical success factors, barriers to implementation,
and key factors identified in the case studies further add to the growing
literature of digital governance and performance management.

ABSTRACT. "Democracy" can be defined in different ways, each of which
offers a different way of looking at the relationship between democracy and
governance. Mark Bevir's (2010) Democratic Governance offers a
genealogical account of the development of this relationship from the late
19th century, focusing on the role of particular theories of social science,
and raising serious questions about the degree to which contemporary
practices conflict with democratic ideals. Bevir suggests a more radical,
participatory approach as a way of resolving this conflict. Here I extend his
genealogical account to include two thinkers, Jeremy Bentham and William
Thompson, who laid much of the groundwork for modern social science, but
with very different ideas about democracy. Extending the genealogy to
Bentham and Thompson opens the way for a consideration of some aspects
of the relationship between democracy and governance not included in
Bevir's account, and raises questions as to whether the different models of
democracy can be integrated in the way he suggests.

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