The aim of the ‘Governance of Public and Private Institutions’ group is to contribute to the analysis of governance practice at all levels. It encourages work relating both to public institutions (State, local authorities, public bodies, etc.) and to private institutions (businesses, associations, etc.).
The governance paradigm opens out onto a wide range of issues:
- analysing the legal, budgetary, economic, political and social constraints etc. providing the framework for governance activities;
- observing those involved in governance processes. Who are they? What is the rationale behind their actions? What are their goals? What resources do they have at their disposal? What sort of structure are they (institutions, networks, etc.)? More generally, how are decisions taken and by whom? And what is their scope?
- identifying the territorialities involved in governance practice, from the smallest local level (commune, quartier, etc.) to the largest (European Union). What role is left for the State? What role do the regions play? More generally, what instruments and technologies are used to regulate society (legal instruments, expert advice, allocation of resources, public sector actions, etc.)?
- identifying the representations, beliefs and ideologies providing the framework for and structure governance practice. Who draws up best practice standards? How are they disseminated? How do institutions and those involved appropriate them? What does it mean, for instance, to refer to good governance?
It is no easy task to draw up the list of disciplines involved, but the following must figure as prime among them: political science, law (public and private), geography, regional and spatial planning, town planning, economics, sociology, management, history, philosophy, social psychology, computer science, etc.