Innovation in Governance

Kristof van Assche, R. Beunen, I.V. Barba Lata, M. Duineveld

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterAcademicpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


In this chapter we develop a theoretical framework, deriving from the social systems theory of Niklas Luhmann and Evolutionary Governance Theory, to grasp the paradoxes of current notions of innovation in governance, and to outline an alternative approach. A renewed reflection on innovation we deem essential for an understanding of the potential for delineating the limits and possibilities of managing, steering or planning innovation in such endeavor. Innovation, it is argued, has to be understood as a post-hoc interpretation of previous decisions and actions, emerging in shifting networks of actors and allies. It is a risky and unpredictable operation at the intersection of incompatible understandings of the world. Managing, steering or planning innovation, then, has to be understood as the creation of conditions for reflection, including the reflection on the redistribution of risks engendered by innovation.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEvolutional Governance Theory : Theory and Applications
EditorsR. Beunen, K. van Assche, M. Duineveld
Place of PublicationCham
PublisherSpringer International Publishing
Number of pages348
ISBN (Print)9783319122731
Publication statusPublished - 2015

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