CAIRN-INT.INFO : International Edition

This article defends the idea of a strong filiation between two research traditions: the sociology of the organizations and governance studies. Both traditions have deeply influenced the analysis of public policy, in particular in France. They share a common concern for the forms that takes collective action, and more specifically for the forms of coordination, considering that they are not only an issue for sociological analysis but are also a dimension of the political. Yet, these two traditions diverge on a crucial point. In fact, governance studies are distinct from the tradition of the sociology of organizations in that they provide, even if in a fuzzy and hesitating way, an implicit historical theory of the State and a theory of the transformations of the forms of coordination in policymaking, which is something the sociology of organizations has always refused to do. Thus, this article is also the occasion to formulate some propositions about that implicit theory of the State contained in the governance approach. This theory, that we call “neopluralist” and “pragmatic”, depicts a State that tends to be “bypassed” and “de-differentiated” but that is nevertheless far from being weak.


  • Coordination
  • Governance
  • Public Policy
  • Sociology of Organised Action
  • Sociology of Organisations
  • State
Gilles Pinson
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