The main idea underlying The Governance Report is that the conditions of public policymaking have changed—and continue to change—as a result of: a greater openness of national borders, a growing volume of cross-border economic activity, deepening policy interdependence among countries, more risks and more competition not only among firms but also states, increased public/private partnering, civil society’s strengthened role, and last but not least, major shifts in global power relations.
Given these new realities, policymakers are tasked with seeking out new arrangements that could best meet and foster interests in the longer run. New policy approaches and strategies are being explored and tested. Therefore, the time is ripe to explore questions such as these which are at the centre of the Report:
What are current and emerging governance problems? Which policy fields are well managed, which are struggling, and what problem areas are threatening to become ungovernable?
Where are innovations taking place, and where are they not; and what blockages exist—institutional or otherwise?
How can we recognize and assess whether state and non-state actors have adjusted to these new and still evolving conditions of public policymaking? How successful have their adjustments been?
In the light of the experience gained to date, how could the governance of the different actor groups or concerns be improved? What new policy thinking, capacities and institutions might be required? What new, innovative ways and approaches to policymaking hold lessons and promise for others?
The Report uses policy challenges as a lens through which to explore how different state and non-state actors have adjusted and could adjust to the types of challenges brought about by the new policy-making realities.
Many initiatives have emerged over the past decades to attempt to grasp these phenomena. The various handbooks on governance might cover concepts, institutions or innovations; the expanding myriad of indicators seeks to elucidate one or another aspect of governance. None of these covers conceptual issues, examines current governance challenges and solutions, assesses innovations, and develops indicators to other data that illustrate and inform all under one umbrella – in a systematic way and over time. This is precisely what we seek to do.
Geared primarily toward the policymaking and practitioner audience, this compact report, published annually by Oxford University Press, provides highlights from the research on various topics, concepts, innovations, and indicators conducted over the year. Each year’s Report introduces new analyses on focal topics and tracks developments highlighted in previous editions.
Also published annually by Oxford University Press, this volume includes both chapters expanding on topics raised in the compact Governance Report as well as commissioned background chapters.