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Book Review

Gouvernance : Une invitation à la subversion

Gouvernance : Une invitation à la subversion

by Gilles Paquet

"Citizens, like investors and other stakeholders, have been immerged for such a long time in the world of top-down "government" - i.e. in a world where at the top sat a potentate that had succeeded in persuading others that he had all the information, power and resources to govern - that they have come to believe that their vocation was to be governed and have lost the very sense that they were themselves "producers of governance". This indolence and this refusal by stakeholders to take their destiny in their own hands are omnipresent. This explains the mental block that stands in the way of the notion of governance. This mental block is not innocent. It reveals a state of mind, a sort of voluntary servitude in which they wallow."

The subversive character of the notion of governance stems from the fact that it sounds a reveille, that it is a call to arms. There is no way to think about governance without having to reflect on what is one's own burden of office, on the obligation to participate and to get involved, on the duties of everyone as producer of governance, and the obligation to contribute to the governing of the firm, the organization, the country.

This book is a call for involvement, responsibility and participation to the social "multilogue" that is necessary in a socio-economy where the centralized and hierarchical structure has crumbled. Using examples drawn from the different domains of recent Canadian experience, the author shows that distributed governance is becoming the new order and throws some light on the sort of resistance that conventional wisdom opposes to this new way of thinking and doing.

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