Networks: Reified Metaphor or Governance Panacea?
Tanja A. Börzel – 2011
This article will discuss the contribution of Rod Rhodes to the research on networks. I will focus on networks as a typology of state/society relations and as a particular form of governance. It is not only here that Rhodes has left his deepest mark; most research on networks still falls in one of the two sub-fields. The typology of policy networks, which he developed with David Marsh more than 15 years ago, has become a classic and still forms a major reference point for studies on public policy-making. Rhodes also pioneered the concept of network governance in the study of British politics to capture the profound changes in the Westminister model since the late 1970s. Regarding more recent developments, Rhodes has been among the first to discuss the reflexivity of networks, introducing some postmodernist thinking into public administration research. Finally, Rhodes has helped advance the ‘ethnographic turn’ in network studies.