This wide-ranging text provides an overview of major developments in governance in contemporary society. It illuminates recent theories about the relationship of the public and private sectors, and the interaction of politics and society. The main development in recent years is shown as a shift in the balance between government and society towards the private sector. The book explores the ways in which new balances have been struck between state and market. It examines such new ventures in public-private interaction and endeavours to explain them in terms of coping with the dynamics, complexities and diversities of modern society. In doing so, it develops the outline of a new theory of social-political governance.