WS15: Collaborative institutions in the governance of common resources

Publicerad: 8 oktober 2018


Carina Lundmark (Luleå University of Technology):
Annelie Sjölander Lindqvist (University of Gothenburg):
Camilla Sandström (Umeå University):

The importance of collaboration as a specific mode of governance involving multiple stakeholders in the management of natural resources along with public officials and experts has grown in importance during the past decades. The overall objectives involve mutual learning, conflict mitigation and the facilitation of policy implementation. Collaborative governance settings currently manifest themselves in numerous policy fields, including but not restricted to wildlife, water, coastal and marine areas. We also find similar transition from government to governance in other sectors, such as the extractive industries (e.g. forestry, mining and tourism).

Participation in collaborative settings comes in many forms, ranging from mere public advisory to and interactive decision-making through deliberative processes where different stakeholders can interact, share and dispute beliefs and views. As such collaborative governance has been suggested important to economic, social and ecological sustainability aspirations, addressing the many challenges facing contemporary society, such as agricultural/fishery transformation, declining service provision, climate change, anthropogenic effects and environmental degradation. At the same time, top-down and hierarchical governing modes exists in parallel, driven by hard rules and effective enforcement.

This workshop aims at interrogating the challenges of collaborative governance from various social science perspectives. What are the conceptual and practical challenges? Do collaborative institutions live up to their promises in terms of participation, policy learning and increased legitimacy? What factors can explain the successes or failures? What different frameworks of meaning and rationales of action exist, and are they compatible? How can collaborative governance including decentralization and stakeholder participation be achieved at the same time as bureaucratic authority and legal certainty is maintained?

We both welcome theoretical contributions and more empirically oriented papers from the wide spectrum of the social sciences.