OverviewThis wide-ranging text provides an overview of major developments in governance in contemporary society. It outlines and illuminates recent theories about the relationship of the public and private sectors, and of the interaction of politics and society.The main development in governance in recent years is shown as a shift in the balance between government and society away from the public sector towards the private sector. The book explores the ways that new balances have been struck between the state and the market.It explores the forms and patterns that have emerged in this new balance, showing these to include both substitutions of the `market' and the `state', but also new patterns of interaction between government and society in areas such as social welfare, environment, education and services. These have produced new forms of governing and public management based on shared responsibility between the public and private sectors.The book explores such new ventures in public-private interaction and endeavours to explain them in terms of coping with the dynamics, complexities and diversities of modern society. In doing this, it develops the outline of a new theory of social-political governance.The book gives a broad overview of the subject, showing empirical cases of new forms of governance drawn from western Europe, as well as reviewing the major theoretical concepts explaining these developments. It focuses on the challenges and prospects for modern public management.The book will be essential reading for students of public administration, management, government and political science, and organization theory.