Governance is a multifaceted political and legal phenomenon, with a growing literature on its many faces. J.P. Gaudin's book (Italian edition: "La gouvernance à double face". "Declinazioni e contraddizioni", Rome, Aracne, 2017) is particularly interesting in pointing out its ambivalent character. On the one hand governance is involved in fostering democracy through institutionalizing participative and transparent procedures. On the other it promotes efficiency criteria inspired by financial doctrines of austerity that reduce public intervention and welfare policies, with limiting effects on democracy. The coexistence between a «competitive mister Hyde» and a «participative doctor Jekyll» is not the only ambivalence pervading governance practices that one can discover in this short, but brilliant, book.