(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.

This is important, because it is implausible that successful “pre-fab” governance mixtures can be transferred 1:1 be from one to another socio-politico-administrative context. Western governance constructs such as community policing have shown not to be applicable without adaptation in developing countries. The intercultural transferability of mixed governance approaches seems to depend on their alignment with national and organizational cultures. Meta-governance therefore requires a thorough understanding of value systems, traditions and beliefs. If meta-governance aims at optimizing the role of governmental actors in dealing with societal problems, the selection and training of meta-governors should become a priority.

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