Civil Society between Deficit and Excess of Power. Reflections on Governance and Democracy - What many contemporary ways of understanding governance (briefly syummarized in this essay) have in common is that they consider governance to be a new, more effective and more democratic form of multilevel interaction and integration between, on one hand, the numerous organizations of civil society (local, national, supranational) and on the other, the political institutions of consolidated constitutional democracy. However, by confronting the procedures of governance with Norberto Bobbio’s minimal conception of democracy, it clearly appears that governance and democracy are not only incompatible from a theoretical standpoint. It also seems that the idea according to which governance is an implementation of deliberative democracy, i.e. a concrete sign of the increased capability of civil society (in Habermas’ sense) to influence the political agenda in this beginning of the new century, suffers from a strong ideological twist.