The Mirage of Non-State Governance
In this Essay, I offer three theses, all of which are critical. First, non‑state governance is conceptually unattractive; it is a concept that makes little sense. Second, non‑state governance is empirically unattractive; meaningful non‑state governance rarely exists. Third, meaningful non‑state governance is normatively unattractive; we would rarely want it, and people postulating it usually expect the state to play an important role. However, I also have something constructive: a proposed trajectory. Talk about the state and the non‑state can only be an intermediary stage in a trajectory of a theory of governance that might lead to a new paradigm of governance. This trajectory would move from state centralism via a state/non‑state dichotomy and a state/non‑state hybridity toward a new paradigm of governance beyond the state. In other words, talk about non‑state governance is not too radical; it is not radical enough.