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An Introduction to Polycentricity and Governance

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Type: Book Chapter
Author: Stephan, Mark; Marshall, Graham; McGinnis, Michael
Book Title: Governing Complexity: Analyzing and Applying Polycentricity
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Location: New York
Page(s): 21-44
Date: 2019
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/10535/10774
Sector: Theory
Subject(s): polycentricity
Governing Complexity
Abstract: "Though our fundamental focus is on polycentric governance, in order to understand polycentric as an adjective that modifies the noun governance (defined below), we must start with the older term, polycentricity. According to Michael Polanyi, polycentricity had roots in the biological and chemical sciences and in the decentralized processes of decision- making within scientific communities. The term had been used to describe the types of plants in botanical studies in the context of whether they have multiple reproductive cells (polycentric) or only a single reproductive cell (monocentric). The terms polycentric and monocentric are still used in this way in botany, and in other areas of scholarship and policy analysis. For example, many urban planning scholars and geographers use the term polycentric to refer to metropolitan regions which encompass both significant suburban centres and one major urban centre, in contrast to a monocentric metropolitan order centred about a single city that has greatly expanded over time."

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