What makes collaborative governance work? A collaborative approach to developing new mixed methods and a database of cases on collaborative natural resource governance

Authors: Candice Carr Kelman*, Arizona State University, Michael Schoon, Arizona State University School of Sustainability
Topics: Coupled Human and Natural Systems, Natural Resources, Sustainability Science
Keywords: adaptive collaborative governance, natural resource management, common-pool resources, institutions, stewardship
Session Type: Virtual Paper
Day: 4/7/2021
Start / End Time: 8:00 AM / 9:15 AM
Room: Virtual 12
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


Around the world, a variety of collaborative governance approaches are being implemented to address increasingly complex and interconnected sustainability challenges, including community-based natural resource management (CBNRM), adaptive collaborative management, collaborative conservation, participatory adaptive management, integrated conservation and development projects. Results from these projects vary, although generally the approach is seen as positive and is growing in popularity. There is debate regarding the key components explaining success in these programs. Multiple academic disciplinary approaches have made in-roads to understanding collective action for managing social-ecological systems. Most notably, common-pool resource (CPR) theory has served as a fertile foundation for other clusters of literature focused on governance of social-ecological systems, including resilience and adaptive governance of social-ecological systems, collaborative governance; adaptive co-management; collaborative natural resource management; collaborative conservation; and even international environmental governance. This work has begun to amass an empirically-based theory of collaborative governance of social-ecological systems that sheds light upon the enabling conditions for sustainable common-pool resource management. In this paper we build upon this, and present a novel method for data collection, a coding manual that combines the detail of case studies with the ease of an online survey, which could ultimately provide a large sample of cases to allow types of analysis that show patterns and lead to greater generalizability among cases. In this paper, we analyze just 12 cases using a co-occurrence matrix and qualitative comparative analysis to look at similarities and differences among them based on both contextual and mechanism variables to explain various kinds of outcomes.

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