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Networked authority and regionalised governance : Public transport, a hierarchy of documents and the anti-hierarchy of authorship

Paulsson, Alexander LU and Isaksson, Karolina (2019) In Environment and Planning C: Politics and Space 37(6). p.985-1004
Abstract

This paper is concerned with the authority of written documents and how these artefacts work as governance devices. Networked authority is introduced as a concept to elucidate how documents accumulate formal power in a collaborative process, where several formally independent but informally interdependent organisations together point out the direction of regional public transport planning in the form of one strategic document. Drawing upon recent research on bureaucracy, authority and documents, the paper empirically explores these connections in the context of public transport in Stockholm, Sweden. Based on this case study, authority was found to be accomplished as the written document reproduced an existing hierarchy of documents,... (More)

This paper is concerned with the authority of written documents and how these artefacts work as governance devices. Networked authority is introduced as a concept to elucidate how documents accumulate formal power in a collaborative process, where several formally independent but informally interdependent organisations together point out the direction of regional public transport planning in the form of one strategic document. Drawing upon recent research on bureaucracy, authority and documents, the paper empirically explores these connections in the context of public transport in Stockholm, Sweden. Based on this case study, authority was found to be accomplished as the written document reproduced an existing hierarchy of documents, through an anti-hierarchical process where the newly formed Regional Public Transport Authority involved several formally independent but informally interdependent organisations, and by lacking a sole author. These three features are crucial for understanding how a collaborative process erodes individuality and personal responsibility, while producing anonymous, networked authority. These results are discussed in relationship to Foucault’s notion of authorship, the author-function, which is derived from legal–institutional networks, much like networked authority. Understanding how networked authority is accomplished through a hierarchy of documents and an anti-hierarchy of authorship contributes with new knowledge on documents and how these work as governance devices in regional governance.

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author
and
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Authority, documents, public transport, regional governance
in
Environment and Planning C: Politics and Space
volume
37
issue
6
pages
20 pages
publisher
SAGE Publications
external identifiers
  • scopus:85059100306
ISSN
2399-6544
DOI
10.1177/2399654418818553
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
858fb082-c3af-4dc0-ab25-63be8180398b
date added to LUP
2019-10-10 22:46:47
date last changed
2020-09-23 07:57:11
@article{858fb082-c3af-4dc0-ab25-63be8180398b,
  abstract     = {<p>This paper is concerned with the authority of written documents and how these artefacts work as governance devices. Networked authority is introduced as a concept to elucidate how documents accumulate formal power in a collaborative process, where several formally independent but informally interdependent organisations together point out the direction of regional public transport planning in the form of one strategic document. Drawing upon recent research on bureaucracy, authority and documents, the paper empirically explores these connections in the context of public transport in Stockholm, Sweden. Based on this case study, authority was found to be accomplished as the written document reproduced an existing hierarchy of documents, through an anti-hierarchical process where the newly formed Regional Public Transport Authority involved several formally independent but informally interdependent organisations, and by lacking a sole author. These three features are crucial for understanding how a collaborative process erodes individuality and personal responsibility, while producing anonymous, networked authority. These results are discussed in relationship to Foucault’s notion of authorship, the author-function, which is derived from legal–institutional networks, much like networked authority. Understanding how networked authority is accomplished through a hierarchy of documents and an anti-hierarchy of authorship contributes with new knowledge on documents and how these work as governance devices in regional governance.</p>},
  author       = {Paulsson, Alexander and Isaksson, Karolina},
  issn         = {2399-6544},
  language     = {eng},
  month        = {09},
  number       = {6},
  pages        = {985--1004},
  publisher    = {SAGE Publications},
  series       = {Environment and Planning C: Politics and Space},
  title        = {Networked authority and regionalised governance : Public transport, a hierarchy of documents and the anti-hierarchy of authorship},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/2399654418818553},
  doi          = {10.1177/2399654418818553},
  volume       = {37},
  year         = {2019},
}