Complex social, cultural and political crises are increasingly challenging settled systems of government, from local to regional and global scales. Whether these crises are financial, technological, ecological, developmental, or more general contestations over the legitimacy of current modes of social organization, they demand a careful theoretical, empirical, and normative analysis if we are to generate effective responses to meet them. Our work centres upon this task, examining how different dynamics of cooperation and conflict create new forms of governance across all levels of social life.

Several key themes unite our research projects. These include: a focus upon the shifting relationship between the public and the private as arenas of governance, particularly as it relates to the State; the diverse manifestations of power, responsibility, and leadership that comprise different institutional orders; and the relationship between democracy and accountability in legitimating of systems of governance.