Complex Associative Systems: Cooperation amid Diversity
José Luis Velasco
This is a breakthrough book. It takes Tocqueville’s notion of the «art of association» and boldly projects it into the complexity (and ambiguity) that characterizes the politics of the 21st Century. Its comprehensiveness in the selection of cases, its innovative conceptualization and, above all, its critica! acumen mark it as an instant classic. And, especially, it is must reading for any scholar who has ever used or even taken seriously the
notion of «governance.»
Philippe C. Scmitter
European University Institute
For years, we have extolled cooperation over competition. We have also studied corporative associations, civil society organizations, policy networks, the public-private associations of new governance and the role of university-industrygovernment linkages in development. Yet, we ha ve not produced a theoretic reflection on associative logic and the properties, problems, governance and performance of the various associative forros. This book fills this void. It is indispensable reading for anyone wanting to understand the composition and dynamics of today’s associatlons, whose decisions and actions shape the future of human society. It makes a conceptual contribution of the highest level to our understanding of the associative world.
Its subject-matter concerns the most advanced associations, integrated by actors coming from different social sectors. The authors’ analysis of trust, interdependence, deliberation, negotiation, representation and leadership is profound and precise, offering new concepts and arguments. Also suggestive and innovative is their concept of»translation» which refers to the procedure by means of which actors participating in an association create a shared language through which they can bring their different positions together, make agreements and control their conflicts. I have no doubt that this book will beco me a theoretical reference and will be acknowledged asan innovative advancement in the study of associative systems.
Lurs F. Aguilar Villanueva
Research Institute on Public Policy and Governance
University of Guadalajara