PPPs (public and private partnerships). The agenda also included the consultation of
individual citizens that were randomly chosen to participate in various forums, which
challenged both the mechanisms of joint action with collective actors, and the partnership-
based forms of governance. However, these directions have had to adapt to the instituted
modes of decision-making and the Quebec Liberal Party has not been able to dismantle the
“Modèle québécois” as it had foreseen.
In light of the limits of hierarchical and public governance as well as the pitfalls of Fordism
and Providentialism, the future relies on innovations in governance. Research shows fairly
clearly that partnership-based governance, which mobilises not only the state and the market
but also civil society, cannot take place without an institutional framework favourable to the
participation of stakeholders in the broader sense and without a deepening of democracy. It
involves not only adding civil society to the state-market dyad, but also redefining the role of
each in a world where their respective spheres of intervention become porous, and governance
emphasises horizontality more than verticality. Such a governance should be a participative
one, rather than authoritarian or restrictive.
Although the predominance of neoliberalism seems to have done well to re-establish the value
of market- and competition-based forms of governance, one could argue that the hegemony of
these types of governance is not absolute and that it often goes hand in hand with partnership-
based types of governance, particularly in societies and regions where new and old social
movements have insisted on experimenting with forms of governance that aim at social
democracy and economic democratisation.
The sphere of action in which these social movements evolve to expand and to conquer spaces
of solidarity is limited but nevertheless offers possibilities. However, the weakening of
democratic institutions allows representatives of the main neoliberal forces to strengthen and
expand their power in decision-making processes. Thus, while social movements implement
innovations that promote the inclusion of excluded groups and that offer solutions to poverty,
new barriers are concurrently imposed by new standards of competitiveness and economic
Thus, while societal mechanisms do depend on the modes of governance implemented by to
promote their development; these mechanisms cannot automatically transform unjust societies
COLLECTION ÉTUDES THÉORIQUES
into just societies. To understand how the quality of community life evolves, we must look
beyond forms of governance. It is essential to comprehend the global nature of the relations
between individuals and societies in the context of globalisation, the weakening of institutions,
as well as the emergence of new opportunities in order to build a truly solidarity-based society.
In this way, the efforts to implant democratic and participative forms of governance will allow
society to free itself from the forces that aim only at productivity and profitability and for
whom governance is nothing more than a matter of efficiency.
Nurturing Alternative Space
Tower Colliery is the last deep mine in the UK South Wales coalfield. It is situated in one of
the most economically disadvantaged areas in Great Britain. In 1994, under the Conservative
government’s energy re-structuring policy, the mine was closed. However, despite a vote by
the miners to accept redundancy, a campaign was started by Tower members of the National
Union of Mineworkers (NUM) which organised an employee buyout to established a workers
cooperative. A group elected by the workforce, the Tower Employment Buyout Team
(TEBO), assembled a business plan, a technical plan, bank loans, support from the local
authority and the Wales Co-operative Centre, donations and, finally, a pledge of almost £2
million composed of the £8,000 redundancy money from each of 239 miners. The Department
of Trade and Industry (DTI) accepted the TEBO’s bid of £10m in November, 1994 and Tower
reopened on 2nd January, 1995 as a worker-owned co-operative business enterprise. The
stated objective was to create jobs and, at the time of writing, it has prospered as an alternative
business enterprise for over 10 years.
Legal ownership of these physical assets is vested in the employee-owners who enjoy all the
conventional rights of company shareholders. In common with the initial personal financial
investment made by the original members, any new member has to invest £8k in a share when
starting “employment” at Tower. Low interest bank loans are available for new starters to
Russell Smith (UWIC, Cardiff).