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Social Co-Governance

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A Solution Originated from the Legitimacy Demands of Multiple Parties

image of The China Nonprofit Review

In the past 20-30 years, industrialization and informatization made the society more complicated and social conflicts more difficult to deal with; citizens and their demands diversified, and we are now in urgent need of a new public administration model that suits the changed political, economic, and social conditions. Governance thus emerged worldwide, promoting government reforms and public participation, and urging the government to delegate and empower, and quit the fields that they are not good at managing. Scholars discuss the reasons for the emergence of governance from the perspectives of managerialism, the rise of civil society, and administrative reforms. But these are not the only reasons for governance to rise to prominence. It emerged, in a way, in response to the “legitimation crisis” described by Jurgen Habermas. As society develops, citizens require more legitimacy from the government on the basis of what it already provides, and this may involve performance, participation, responsiveness, law-based administration, etc. We hereby analyze the legitimation crisis in a postmodern society and point out that the paradigm of social co-governance is a response to these legitimacy demands and that multiple parties integrate their demands using governance tools such as participation, consultation, empowerment, etc.

Affiliations: 1: Nanjing Tech University ; 2: Tsinghua University


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