The innovation in governance group pursues research on the emergence, development and expansion of new forms of governance. It puts a focus on the intertwining of epistemic and political work in the (re)making of collective orders.

Relevant research is carried out in various traditions, such as interpretive political science and policy studies, governmentality studies, political and organizational sociology, sociology of knowledge and science and technology studies.

Activities of the group bring these together to study ongoing changes in governance – from the transformation of statehood and transnational governance, over the rise of market principles and deliberative democracy, to new arrangements of science-policy interaction and the practical involvement of social and political science with changing realities of governance.

For an overview of topics and approaches in innovation in governance research see past projects, events, publications, contributions to innovation in governance forums and seminar series, as well as the personal websites of people who are linked up with the group.


Knowing governance. The epistemic construction of political order

A product of the wider research network is a book to explore the making of knowledge about governance. How is practical work to establish representations of governance reality intertwined with the practical work of governing itself, and thus with the creation of new realities of governance? The book draws on discussions in the Innovation in Governance Forum series, seminars, and an authors’ workshop in June 2013.


Innovation in Governance. Realizing instruments of governance

The work of the group was supported by a project grant from the Federal Ministry for Education and Research (BMBF) to investigate the innovation dynamics of governance instruments in the wider family of environmental markets and public participation methods. The project comprises three aims (see the initial workplan).

1.      To elaborate a conceptual framework for studying innovation in governance as a co-production of science and politics, drawing on a variety of concepts from policy and governance studies, political and organizational sociology, innovation studies and science and technology studies. This was linked with exploring relevant strands of ongoing research and supporting the formation of an interdisciplinary research network through conferences, workshops, seminars and research fellowships.

2.      To reconstruct the historical development of selected instruments (emissions trading, biodiversity offsetting, citizens jury, planning cell and consensus conference) and follow their articulation as functional models of governing over several decades and across different sites of scientific and political experimentation. A special focus was on the formation of ‘instrument constituencies’ and ‘design controversies’.

3.      To develop and probe an approach for engaging with ongoing innovation processes in governance with a view to explicate wider repercussions and political implications of their possible future development, in order to allow for public scrutiny and debate. This resulted in reports from two ‘challenging futures’ workshops on ‘biodiversity offsetting and banking’ and on ‘citizen panels’ which were conducted in April 2013.


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