How does governance differ from government? ‘What is governance?’ considers how the meaning of the term governance has evolved along with our understanding of the role of the state in governing us. The activity of governing is increasingly shared with social actors such as private firms, non-governmental organizations, and non-profit service providers. Governance has therefore come to refer to all processes of governing, whether undertaken by a government or an informal organization. The new relationship between state and society has focused attention away from the state and on to the activity of governing.