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The word 'governance' is ubiquitous. The World Bank and the International Monetary Fund make loans conditional on 'good governance'. Climate change and avian flu appear as issues of 'global governance'. The European Union issues a White Paper on 'Governance'. The U.S. Forest Service calls for 'collaborative governance'. What accounts for the pervasive use of the term 'governance' and to what does it refer? It has a bewildering set of answers. The word 'governance' is used in a variety of contexts, but at a general level, it refers to all forms of social coordination and patterns of rule. In this Very Short Introduction, Mark Bevir considers not only the main theories of governance, but also their impact in a variety of areas including corporate, public, and global affairs. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.