Hierarchic Governance

Hierarchic governance structures constitute the traditional mode of governance in a country based on hierarchy of authority or power and is characterized by centralized state control represented through a central government (Atkinson and Coleman 1989). Governments are shifting - either voluntarily or through coercion from hierarchic modes of governance to networked modes of governance (Dijk & Winters-van Beek, 2009; Kettl, 2002; Hamza , 2013). But dismissing formal hierarchies as systems of governance is too risky, for several reasons (Atkinson and Coleman 1989). Hierarchic modes of governance are consistently applied, now in combination with other modes of governance, in our political systems (Kettl & Jones, 1995). However, it is important to understand the different structures in play (networks and hierarchies) and how these are applied (Thompson, 2003).


Atkinson, M. & Coleman, W., (1989), Strong States and Weak States: Sectoral Policy Networks in Advanced Capitalist Economies, British Journal of Political Science, 14(1), pp.46-67.

Dijk, J. & Winters-van Beek, A., (2009), The Perspective of Network Government: The Struggle Between Hierarchies, Markets and Networks as Modes of Governance in Contemporary Government, Innovation and the Public Sector, 14, pp.235-55.

Hamza, K., (2013), The Impact of Social Media and Network Governance on State Stability in Time of Turbulences: Egypt After 2011 Revolution, PhD Thesis. Brussels, Vrije Universiteit Brussel Institute for European Studies.

Kettl, D., (2002), The Transformation of Governance. Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press.

Kettl, D. & Jones, B., (1995), Sharing Power: Public Governance and Private Markets. Journal of Politics, 57(1), pp.246-48.

Thompson, G., (2003), Between hierarchies and markets. The logic and limits of network forms of organization. New York: Oxford University Press.

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