How rediscovering nodality can improve democratic governance in a digital world

Helen Margetts, Peter John*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


In Hood's (1983) classic “NATO” scheme, nodality—centrality and visibility in information networks—is one of the four tools of government. Despite its potential as a resource to effect policy change, contemporary scholars have largely neglected this unique policy tool. However, the growing prominence of digital platforms in public life prompts a rediscovery of this concept. The decisive shift is the parallel growth of citizen nodality, which can increase societal capacity and enhance government nodality, partly by allowing citizens to challenge government nodality. Moreover, citizen nodality and government nodality can interact to promote more democratic government. With the aim of rediscovering and updating nodality, this article defines the concept, reviews how the modern digital landscape has transformed the practice of nodality, and proposes a conceptual and methodological toolkit. The goal is to understand how nodality may be more effectively used by policy-makers while at the same time fostering democratic governance.

Original languageEnglish
JournalPublic Administration
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2023


Dive into the research topics of 'How rediscovering nodality can improve democratic governance in a digital world'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this