Building on Weber to understand governance: exploring the links between identity, democracy and 'inner distance'

Woods, Phillip A. (2003). Building on Weber to understand governance: exploring the links between identity, democracy and 'inner distance'. Sociology, 37(1) pp. 143–163.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/0038038503037001391

Abstract

The paper builds up a conceptual picture of two types of governance - network and organic. In this process it highlights the legitimacies of co-ordination (interior authority and democracy) that lie outside Weber's typology of domination and are relatively neglected in governance literature. The exploration of interior authority, through discussion of identity and substantive liberty, reflects a perspective on human agency that acknowledges the interconnection of the social and non-social and links sociological understanding of agency with political philosophy. It is suggested that this theoretical work gives some necessary content to Weber's concept of inner distance. In turn, this also has implications for our understanding of what is involved in democratizing governance.

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