This article problematises the idea of the Western concept of governance being applied to areas outside the OECD world. The aim of this article is to develop a research approach which is appropriate for these areas. To this end the article first of all casts light on Eurocentric premises of the concept of governance. It deals with the central dichotomy between state and private actors. The omnipresence of this differentiation is then explained with the help of Foucault‘s, Luhmann‘s and Derrida‘s (de-)constructivist theories. Assuming that Eurocentrism is inevitable, but that it has a varying degree of influence on the observer, the author then outlines an equivalence functionalist approach to governance research, which poses questions about the nature of a task performed, about the “way” in which it is performed and by “whom”. In this way, European dichotomies with regard to actors and modes of action in governance can be avoided.