Articles & book chapters 


(2016) The implementation of the EU SEA Directive: Main achievements and challenges 

In: B. Sadler and J. Dusik (Eds), European and international Experience of Strategic Environmental Assessment: Recent Progress and Future Prospects, pp 57-83.

Abstract:  (tbc)2016SEAbook

(2012) Cultural diversity and sustainability metagovernance 

In: Louis Meuleman (Ed.)(2012) Transgovernance: Advancing Sustainability Governance. Heidelberg: Springer Verlag

transgov2012-100x143Abstract: In the twenty years since the United Nations summit on sustainable development in Rio de Janeiro in 1992, the world has become more diverse, turbulent, fast and multi-polar. Tensions between old and new forms of politics, science and media, representing the emergence of what has been framed as the knowledge democracy, have brought about new challenges for sustainability governance. However, the existing governance frameworks seem to deny this social complexity and uncertainty. They also favour centralised negotiations and institutions, view governments as exclusive decision makers, and imply hegemony of Western economic, political and cultural principles. This is also reflected in the language of sustainability governance: it is centralist and is referring to monolithic concepts (the economy, the climate, the Earth System) rather than embracing diversity and complexity. This chapter aims to shed light on the problematic relations between cultural diversity, sustainable development and governance.

Dowload book chapter

(2011) Metagoverning governance styles: broadening the public manager’s action perspectives 

Louis Meuleman,   in: J. Torfing and P. Triantafillou (Eds.)(2011):
Interactive policymaking, metagovernance and democracy, pp 95-110. Colchester: ECPR Press.

Interactive Policy Making,  Metagovernance and DemocracyAbstract:  This chapter argues that there are two forms of managing different governance styles or applying metagovernance: first order metagovernance, which uses other styles to make on style more effective, and second order metagovernance which takes a bird's eye perspective and aims at constructing a combined approach that is situational for each purpose.

Download Table of Contents.  Order book.


(2010) Sustainable development and the governance of long-term decisions   

knowl-demLouis Meuleman and Roeland Jaap in 't Veld (2010), in: In 't Veld (Ed.)(2010) Knowledge Democracy, pp 255-282. Heidelberg: Springer.

Abstract:  This chapter outlines an analysis of policy-making about the long-term and affecting the long-term, in particular but not solely in the context of sustainable development, taking a broad "governance" perspective. It argues that future-oriented knowledge prodiction is fundamentally about handling uncertainty.

Publisher's website

(2010) Governance and the usability of knowledge for policymakers  

knowl-demLouis Meuleman (2010), in: In 't Veld (Ed.)(2010) Knowledge Democracy. Heidelberg: Springer.

Abstract: This chapter discusses why policy-makers and politicians sometimes find knowledge unusable. In this part of the chapter, three different perceptions of the use and usability of knowledge for policy-making are discussed, which match with the three basic governance styles hierarchy, network and market. The question is if governance of governance style combinations, or metagovernance, may help to improve the use of knowledge in policy-making, and if this could contribute to developing a knowledge democracy. 

Publisher's website

(2010) The cultural dimension of metagovernance

Louis Meuleman (2010), in: Public Organization Review 10/1 49-70

Abstract: National cultures often reflect a preference for one of the ideal-types hierarchical, network or market governance. A comparison of four similar policy cases in the UK, the Netherlands, Germany and the European Commission reveals that successful public managers under certain conditions are able to construct and design productive mixtures of the three styles. They applied metagovernance, a process of designing and managing situationally optimal combinations of the three competing, and to an extent mutually undermining, governance styles. Their national cultures and politico-administrative traditions co-determined the governance mixture which would work in a given situation. The research reinforces the case already made by others, that governance doctrines cannot be transferred as ‘best practices’ from one nation to another without adaptation. The article suggests that the future does not lie in inventing new management and governance doctrines, but in investing in post-dogmatic public management.

Source: Meuleman, L. (2010). The Cultural Dimension of Metagovernance: Why Governance Doctrines May Fail. Public Organization Review, Volume 10, Number 1 / March, 2010, pp 49-70. 

(2008) Sustainability Impact Assessment and Regulatory Impact Assessment

Ingeborg Niestroy (2008).  In: OECD (ed.): Conducting Sustainability Assessments, p. 67-88. OECD Sustainable Development Studies

Driven by more complex and complicated policy challenges, persistent problems, and conflicting interests, the desire for rooting policy-making in the available stock of knowledge and applying supporting techniques and procedures has grown. Impact Assessments (IA) are increasingly promoted and implemented in recent years at the European Union (EU) level and in member states. They are understood as attempts, procedures and tools to assess, usually ex ante, the effects of policies on the physical and societal environment, notably on the dimensions of sustainable development.

Download this book chapter here 



(2008) Reflections on Meta Governance and Community Policing: The Utrecht Case in the Netherlands and Questions about the Cultural Transferability of Governance Approaches 

govinstre-engineeringLouis Meuleman (2008), in: Bissessar, A. (2008): Governance and Institutional Re-engineering, pp. 130-170. Cambridge Scholars Publishing.

Abstract: Mixtures of hierarchical, network and market governance styles are in many ways inherently incompatible and the possibilities of complementarity are often not seen. Therefore it is important to further develop the concept of meta-governance as the governing of governance style mixtures. A successful case of community policing–networking in the shadow of hierarchical and market governance-in the Netherlands illustrates that this type of meta-governance is feasible.