On Civil Society Governance: An Emergent Research Field

  • Kari Steen-JohnsenEmail author
  • Philippe Eynaud
  • Filip Wijkström
Original Paper


The scholarly interest in governance has peaked remarkably within the social sciences in the last couple of decades (Kitthananan 2006; Kjaer 2004; Pierre 2000). The multi-faceted usage of the governance concept found in the study of civil society indicates that more than one phenomenon is in fact being addressed, and that several different approaches are taken at the same time. For students of civil society organizations (CSOs) in particular, two main strands of research dealing with the idea and concept of governance seem to be of interest. The first one focuses on what we may call “external governance” and is concerned with the processes through which societies are governed. Increasingly, institutional mechanisms other than those of the state, such as civil society and the market sector, are involved in processes of external governance (Bozzini and Enjolras 2011; Rhodes 1997). This has entailed an increased political and scholarly interest in how CSOs are involved in...


Introduction Special issue Civil society governance 



The editors wish to thank the contributing authors to this special issue for inspiring interaction and discussion and for their efforts to advance and develop arguments and manuscripts. We also wish to extend our thanks to Bernard Enjolras and Michael Meyer for critical and constructive comments to earlier versions of this text.


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Copyright information

© International Society for Third-Sector Research and The John's Hopkins University 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kari Steen-Johnsen
    • 1
    Email author
  • Philippe Eynaud
    • 2
  • Filip Wijkström
    • 3
  1. 1.Institute for Social ResearchOsloNorway
  2. 2.Centre National des Arts et MétiersParis Cédex 03France
  3. 3.Stockholm School of EconomicsStockholmSweden

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