Doing What’s Necessary: How Encounters in Practice Shape and Improve Interactive Governance

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Interactive governance has rapidly been institutionalized in the public sector, but cannot guarantee productive dynamics and positive outcomes. This chapter argues that making interactive governance work hinges on how it takes shape through encounters in daily practice. In their interactions, stakeholders can enact pre-determined institutional interests, procedures and routines (logic of the organization) or a process of discovering how to best address the needs and dynamics at hand (law of the situation). This framework is empirically grounded in and practically illustrated by the case of a Neighborhood Practice Team (Buurt Praktijk Team – BPT) in Amsterdam-West. The analysis critically appraises its successful practice of ‘doing what’s necessary’: following the needs of the residents and the dynamics of the neighborhood rather than abiding by pre-set interests, goals and procedures. The chapter explains how this works, what challenges it runs into, and why it makes a difference.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCritical Reflections on Interactive Governance
Subtitle of host publicationSelf-organization and Participation in Public Governance
EditorsJurian Edelenbos, Ingmar Van Meerkerk
Place of PublicationCheltenham
PublisherEdward Elgar Publishing Ltd.
Number of pages24
ISBN (Electronic)978 1 78347 907 8
ISBN (Print)978 1 78347 906 1
Publication statusPublished - 2016


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