subsidiarity, anarchism, and the governance of complexity


"In the first chapter, Hugo Durieux analyses the current debates around the principles of subsidiarity and multi-level governance as a way to capture and cope with complexity. He points out that these concepts have some similarities with the classic anarchist theories about the construction of federated societies and decision-models. This allows Durieux to draw attention to similarities and differences between the two schools, and to related criticisms and pitfalls that both anarchism and multi-level governance may encounter (cf. Hardt and Negri's discussion of imperial control). To give just one example, Durieux aptly observes that contemporary governments as Italy's second Berlusconi-government (2001-2005) and Cameron's Conservative-Lib-Dem Government have decentralized and further privatized responsibilities (e.g. on education, health, local policing), while at the same time cutting budgets. This kind of subsidiarity would clearly not enhance basic democracy. Durieux offers many more new intriguing questions than answers. But this will allow the reader to approach the other contributions with a much wider perspective, and as she or he will notice much .of the questions raised by Durieux reappear in more concrete shapes elsewhere."

Jan Loisen & Ferdi De Ville (2012), 'Introduction', in Subsidiarity and Multi-Level Governance, Koninklijke Vlaamse Academie van België voor Wetenschappen en Kunsten, Contactforum 12 October 2011, 10.


Hier, met vriendelijke toestemming van de uitgever, mijn openingsbijdrage 'Subsidiarity, Anarchism and the Governance of Complexity', in Subsidiarity and Multi-Level Governance, 15-26.