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WPS No.23 | Jaffe, R.K. & Koster, M. (2017) | The Myth of Formality in the Global North: Informality-as-Innovation in Dutch Governance

In this brief article, we challenge the myth of Northern formality by focusing on two empirical cases of informality in Dutch governance that demonstrate how the state frames the toleration and use of informality as policy innovations.

While in the global South such informal governance practices would be taken as evidence of corruption, collusion or a failure of the rule of law, in the Netherlands we see such practices framed as positive innovations that other countries would do well to emulate. Specifically, we focus on the strategic, uncodified and non-transparent deviation from legal procedure in order to achieve compliance and/or effectiveness.

This paper has now been published open access in the International Journal of Urban and Regional Research.