Evolutionary governance theory (EGT) provides a basis for holistically analyzing the shifting contexts and dynamics of policymaking in settings with functional differentiation and complex subsystems. Policy assemblages, as mixes of policy tools and goals, are an appropriate unit of analysis for EGT because they embody the theory's emphasis on co-evolving elements within policy systems. In rational practice, policymakers design policies within assemblages by establishing objectives, collecting information, comparing options, strategizing implementation, and selecting instruments. However, as EGT implies, this logical progression does not always materialize so tidily—some policies emerge from carefully considered blueprints while others evolve from muddled processes, laissez faire happenstance, or happy accident. Products of the latter often include loosely steered, unmoored, and 'non-designed' path dependencies that confound linear logic and are understudied in the policy literature. There exists the need for a more intricate analytical vocabulary to describe this underexplored 'chaotic' end of the policy design spectrum, as conjuring images of 'muddles' or 'messes' has exhausted its usefulness. This article introduces a novel metaphor for non-design—the bird nest—to bring studies of policy design and non-design into lexical harmony.
Abstract City diplomacy has a long history and has witnessed a clear sprawl over the last century. Successive "generations" of city diplomacy approaches have emerged over this period, with a heyday of networked urban governance in the last two decades. The covid-19 pandemic crisis presents a key opportunity to contemplate the direction of city diplomacy amid global systemic disruptions, raising questions about the effectiveness of differing diplomatic styles across cities but also the prospect of a new generational shift. This essay traces the history of generations in city diplomacy, examines prospects for novel ways of understanding city diplomacy, and contemplates how the pandemic's impact heralds not the demise of internationalization in urban governance but an era in which city diplomacy is even more crucial amid fundamental limitations.
"This book presents the latest research on three issues of crucial importance to Asian cities: governance, liveability, and sustainability. Together, these issues canvass the salient trends defining Asian urbanization and are explored through an eclectic compendium of studies that represent the many voices of this diverse region. Examining the processes and implications of Asian urbanization, the book interweaves practical cases with theories and empirical rigour while lending insight and complexity into the towering challenges of urban governance. The book targets a broad audience including thinkers, practitioners, and students"--