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Governing Complex SystemsSocial Capital for the Anthropocene$
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Oran R. Young

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780262035934

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262035934.001.0001

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Goal-Setting as a Governance Strategy

Goal-Setting as a Governance Strategy

(p.121) 5 Goal-Setting as a Governance Strategy
Governing Complex Systems

Oran R. Young

The MIT Press

Mainstream thinking about governance focuses on rule-making and directs attention to the challenges of developing rules, promulgating implementing regulations, and dealing with matters of compliance and enforcement. But this is not the only method for meeting needs for governance in complex systems. An alternative strategy centers of goal-setting and features the establishment of clearcut priorities, the allocation of resources to address these priorities, the development of effective teams with a mandate to pursue goals, and the introduction of metrics to measure progress toward goal fulfillment. While goal-setting is more familiar to those working at subnational and even local levels, cases like the Millennium Development Goals and the Sustainable Development Goals indicate that this strategy is usable in largescale settings as well. In some cases (e.g. the regime created under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change), rule-making and goal-setting are joined together in a single governance system. But goal-setting is a distinct governance strategy with a logic of its own. It makes sense in a variety of settings to compare and contrast the relative merits of goal-setting and other governance strategies in devising arrangements likely to prove effective in solving specific problems.

Keywords:   goal-setting, Millennium Development Goals, performance metrics, regulation, priorities, rule-making, Sustainable Development Goals

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