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Authoritative GovernancePolicy Making in the Age of Mediatization$
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Maarten A. Hajer

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780199281671

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199281671.001.0001

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The Authority Problem of Governance

The Authority Problem of Governance

Chapter:
(p.14) 1 The Authority Problem of Governance
Source:
Authoritative Governance
Author(s):

Maarten A. Hajer (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199281671.003.0002

Using the example of the Nobel Peace Prize for Al Gore and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), this chapter explores a conceptualization of authority as the possibility for reasoned elaboration. It is seen as a possible alternative for what is called ‘classical modernist’ politics: the politics of democratically elected leaders using their ‘de jure’ authority. The chapter argues that the quasi-natural authority of classical-modernist government suffers from a triple deficit: of implementation, of its capacity to learn, and increasingly also of creating legitimacy. It discusses the new ‘repertoire’ of network governance that has become more important in answer to this triple deficit. Yet is also relates the challenge of governance to the growing importance of the media in the conduct of politics. The combination of these factors complicates the achievement of authority because the politics of meaning has become far more difficult to control. Instead of a political centre we have a politics of multiplicity; there are multiple, often unexpected political stages and multiple, actively interpreting interconnected publics. The book calls this ‘the politics of multiplicities’. This creates a structural instability in the political space.

Keywords:   institutional void, authority, new governance, multiplicity, media

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