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Complex and interactive processes through which societies organize, coordinate, and manage their affairs towards reaching societal goals. Governance involves mechanisms, structures, and relationships that collectively facilitate binding decision-making, policy formulation, and implementation. Unlike traditional notions of government, governance emphasizes involvement of multiple actors, both public and private, and recognizes the importance of networks, partnerships, and collaborations.

Definition developed by Jens Newig of Leuphana University of Lüneburg.