Unexpected epidemics, abrupt catastrophic shifts in biophysical systems, and economic crises that cascade across national borders and regions are events that challenge the steering capacity of governance at all political levels. This article seeks to extend the applicability of governance theory by developing hypotheses about how different governance types can be expected to handle processes of change characterized by nonlinear dynam-ics, threshold effects, cascades, and limited predictability. The first part of the article argues the relevance of a complex adaptive system approach and goes on to review how well governance theory acknowledges the intriguing behavior of complex adaptive systems. In the second part, we develop a typology of governance systems based on their adaptive capacities. Finally, we investigate how combinations of governance systems on different levels buffer or weaken the capacity to govern complex adaptive systems. 1.
Nearly all fractions within the political, economic, and social spheres gave responses to the recent financial crisis. In broad terms, both left-leaning and right-leaning scholars and commentators presented their explanations for the crisis, with confident agendas defining 'what is wrong' and how to deal with it. However, as intellectual history shows us, most of those explanations were no less fascinating precisely because they shared more that they acknowledged. A major divide has been over the role of governments in coordinating markets, or, in the case of Roberts'sThe Logic of Discipline, the role of markets in coordinating governments. In this essay, I offer an overview of Alasdair Roberts's arguments inThe Logic of Discipline. Gradually, I extend the examined issues beyond the state-market dichotomy, arguing that only in understanding the interactive force of the two can a systemic analysis of capitalism hope to be plausible.
Who governs when nobody governs ?» This question is addressed by looking at phenomena that have become characteristic of cities today: violence, crime, immigration, mobility. Answering this question also requires paying more attention to different forms of regulation : state, market, along with cooperative/reciprocal modes of regulation. Risk embodies these different forms : it has become a common way of framing and addressing a wide variety of urban problems, suggesting that to govern is to identify and to manage vulnerabilities through different modes of regulation. Lastly, the question points to the uncertainty that characterizes city borders : these are constantly being redefined both by demographics, urbanization and political reforms. ; «Qui gouverne quand personne ne gouverne?» Pour répondre à cette question, plusieurs traits caractéristiques des villes contemporaines sont examinés : violence, criminalité, immigration, mobilité. Il convient aussi de s’intéresser de plus près à différentes formes de régulation : l’État, le marché et des formes qui font appel à la coopération ou la réciprocité. Le risque incarne ces différentes formes : il constitue une modalité de cadrage et de gestion de tout un ensemble de problèmes urbains, suggérant que gouverner revient d’abord et avant tout à identifier et gérer des vulnérabilités par le biais de différents modes de régulation. Enfin, la question renvoie aux incertitudes qui entourent les frontières de la ville : celles-ci sont en évolution permanente, sous l’effet de la démographie, de l’urbanisation et des réformes politiques.