Authoritative Governance: Policy Making in the Age of Mediatization

Paperback | April 3, 2011

byMaarten A. Hajer

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The role of the media has become a central part of politics and policy in the twenty-first century. That dominance has led many to suggest a trend of 'dumbing down': the privileging of style over content. In this provocative new book, Maarten Hajer takes issue with the 'dumbing down' thesisboth on theoretical and empirical grounds. He aims to show how authoritative governance remains possible in crisis driven circumstances and a highly 'mediatized' world.The book elaborates a communicative understanding of authority, which, the author argues, can create a new basis for authoritative governance in a world marked by political and institutional fragmentation. Extending his discourse-analytical framework, Hajer uses both discursive and dramaturgicalmethods to study policymakers in their struggle for authority. Three detailed case studies - the plans to rebuild Ground Zero, the aftermath of the assassination of Theo Van Gogh, and the recent role of the British Food Standards Agency - provide a wealth of detail of the dynamics of authority intoday's mediatized polity and bring out the peculiar role that crises now play.The argument of the book is that in the age of mediatization governance needs to be 'performed'. Hajer describes a genuinely new authoritative governance that breaks with existing interpretations. He demonstrates ways in which the traditional government of standing institutions and notions ofnetwork governance can be combined in actively creating relations with a variety of publics.

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From the Publisher

The role of the media has become a central part of politics and policy in the twenty-first century. That dominance has led many to suggest a trend of 'dumbing down': the privileging of style over content. In this provocative new book, Maarten Hajer takes issue with the 'dumbing down' thesisboth on theoretical and empirical grounds. He ...

Maarten Hajer is Professor of Public Policy at the University of Amsterdam and Director of the Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency. He is the author of the celebrated The Politics of Environmental Discourse - Ecological Modernization and the Policy Process (Oxford UP, 1995).

other books by Maarten A. Hajer

Format:PaperbackDimensions:224 pagesPublished:April 3, 2011Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199595674

ISBN - 13:9780199595679

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Table of Contents

1. Maarten Hajer: The Authority Problem of Governance2. Maarten Hajer: A Framework for Analysis3. Maarten Hajer with Justus Uitermark: Performing Authority after the Assassination of Theo Van Gogh4. Maarten Hajer: Contested Authority in Rebuilding Ground Zero5. Maarten Hajer with David Laws and Wytske Versteeg: Authority through Deliberative Governance: the British Food Standards Agency in Action6. Maarten Hajer: The Paradox of Authority in a Mediatized Politics

Editorial Reviews

"Maarten Hajer's stories of politicians as performers enacting dramas that imbue governance with meaning open novel and exciting ways of understanding how authoritative governance is possible." --Rod Rhodes, Professor of Government, University of Tasmania and Distinguished Professor of Political Science, Research School of Social Sciences, Australian National University.