Governance Networks, Bureaucracy, and Democracy

Göktuğ Morçöl, Saahir Shafi, Aravind Menon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Are bureaucratic and network forms of organization compatible with democracy? Two observations made in the literature inspire this question:
Liberal democracies around the world have been challenged by populist authoritarian movements and leaders, and multicentric forms of governance
(i.e., governance networks) are utilized increasingly in public policymaking and service delivery in many of these democracies. Based
on these observations, we propose that a conceptual investigation of the possible links between three ideal types of democracy (i.e., liberal,
deliberative/discursive, and practice-based democracy) and two ideal types of social organization (bureaucracy and governance networks) can
help us to better understand the challenges in public policy making and administration in the early 21st century. In doing so, we adopt Max
Weber’s conceptual analytical method of using ideal typical abstractions and understanding their historical contexts. With our conceptual analysis,
we demonstrate that governance networks may be problematic for liberal and deliberative forms of democracy and are most compatible
with practice-based democracy. We propose that a configurational approach should be used in conceptualizing the relations between the ideal
types of democracy and social organization.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-13
Number of pages13
JournalPerspectives on Public Management and Governance
StatePublished - Mar 1 2022


Dive into the research topics of 'Governance Networks, Bureaucracy, and Democracy'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this