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Edited by James Meadowcroft, David Banister, Erling Holden, Oluf Langhelle, Kristin Linnerud and Geoffrey Gilpin

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What Next for Sustainable Development?

Our Common Future at Thirty

Edited by James Meadowcroft, David Banister, Erling Holden, Oluf Langhelle, Kristin Linnerud and Geoffrey Gilpin

This book examines the international experience with sustainable development since the concept was brought to world-wide attention in Our Common Future, the 1987 report of the World Commission on Environment and Development. Scholars from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds engage with three critical themes: negotiating environmental limits; equity, environment and development; and transitions and transformations. In light of the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals recently adopted by the United Nations General Assembly, they ask what lies ahead for sustainable development.
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Global Environmental Governance and Small States

Architectures and Agency in the Caribbean

Michelle Scobie

Global Environmental Governance gives the perspectives of small states on some of the most important issues of the anthropocene, from trade, climate change and energy security to tourism, marine governance, and heritage. Providing an in depth analysis of global environmental governance and its impact on Caribbean small island developing states (SIDS) Michelle Scobie explores which dynamics and contexts influence current policy and future environmental outcomes for one of the most biodiverse regions of the planet.
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Tomas M. Koontz

This chapter draws on the American context to review the evolution of collaboration in environmental governance over time. It examines the origins of ecosystem management, its focus on a holistic, interdisciplinary approach, and its gradual expansion to address social concerns and stakeholder and organizational roles. It also traces the early origins in community-based collaborative environmental management. With origins in Elinor Ostrom’s work on self-governance in response to the failures of centralized government control, collaborative partnerships emerged to fill important gaps and voids. The early scholarship in this realm focused on the failures of top-down practice and best practices and the second generation scholarship began to propose typologies, models, and taking a more critical examination of outcomes. Finally, the chapter examines the research on collaborative public management in response to reduced government roles, resulting in more networked forms of governance. The comparison of these fields and their evolution over time reveals some important common themes and differences, and the tensions between theory and practice.

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John Forester

This chapter explores the challenges of facilitators' roles in collaborative processes and the ways in which researchers can learn from such facilitators' experiences. By examining a rich practice story detailing a facilitator's collaborative work, the chapter focuses upon facilitators' professional expertise, their concerns about inefficiency, and the complexities of convening, guiding, and intervening. Forester also highlights the challenges for researchers to define and explain collaborative approaches, which often do not fit traditional labels of facilitation, collaboration, or dispute resolution. He challenges researchers to do a better job of exploring grounded accounts of collaborative work by practitioners to help readers better understand the complexities of collaborative efforts. Forester argues that researchers and practitioners alike must think carefully about the challenges of building relationships, framing contentious issues, responding to participants' demands, and understanding the processes of dialogue, debate, and negotiation—along with the corresponding intervening roles that each of these three processes require.

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Edited by Richard D. Margerum and Cathy J. Robinson

Collaborative approaches to governance are being used to address some of the most difficult environmental issues across the world, but there is limited focus on the challenges of practice. Leading scholars from the United States, Europe and Australia explore the theory and practice in a range of contexts, highlighting the lessons from practice, the potential limitations of collaboration and the potential strategies for addressing these challenges.
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Richard D. Margerum, Cathy J. Robinson and Ken Genskow

This chapter summarizes some of the major issues confronting collaborative governance across the chapters of this book. Using a peer review process involving the book’s authors and other researchers examining collaboration, the chapter presents a research agenda for collaboration. This agenda highlights the need for more longitudinal research, studies of politics and governance, work that addresses the art and nuance of collaborative processes, studies of the role of community and the public, research on the role of individual participants, studies examining science and problem complexity, research on the role of external pressures, and work that addresses issues of management relationships.

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Daniel H. Nelson, Rosemary O’Leary, Larry D. Schroeder, Misty Grayer and Nidhi Vij

The challenges of collaborating in the Indian Forest Service (IFS) include hierarchical structure, misalignment of interests, different organization cultures, clashing time horizons, numerous stakeholders, low accountability, complex political environments, frequent transfers of personnel, low trust, lack of transparency, inability to see collaborative advantage, lack of public service motivation, and lack of collaborative attributes or skills. To further understand these challenges, we surveyed 140 senior IFS officers and found that 91 percent indicate an effort to use collaboration as a management and leadership strategy to help them improve outcomes by leveraging resources and providing a catalyst for innovation. In an attempt to improve the success of these collaboration efforts, we developed a hypothesis for future research based on what we call the Need-Attitude-Skillset (NAS) theory. We conclude that collaboration can take place even in a highly regimented, hierarchical organizational culture, but not without significant challenges. More important than strong authority, pressure, and mandates is: (1) an articulated need to collaborate; (2) public service motivation coupled with an attitude that sees collaborative advantage; and (3) a strong collaborative problem solving-skillset that emphasizes communication.

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Helen Ross, Jennifer Bellamy and Brian Head

This chapter examines the challenges of using collaboration on a regional scale to address wicked problems in Australia. The authors’ research reviews four diverse collaborative efforts: salinity management in an important irrigated agricultural region, dryland salinity in a landscape with high biodiversity values, water quantity management in inland Australia, and water quality in the urbanized southeast Queensland region. Their comparative work reveals four consistent challenges. First, the complexity and difficulty associated with solving the problems creates significant resistance that requires major problems or crises to develop political will. Second, building and maintaining collaborative arrangements with continuous policy adjustments and changing stakeholders has generated a constantly adapting governance environment. Third, a diverse range of collaborative scientific research of unique relevance to each region may be available, but needs to be well linked with local knowledge systems and management needs in order to gain acceptance. Fourth, there has been a mismatch between political and policy timeframes and the timescales needed to address long-term resource decision-making. Finally, there has been the difficulty of managing in a multi-level context; ranging from national- and state-level policy to community engagement and local participation.

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Arwin van Buuren and Jitske van Popering-Verkerk

This chapter address the challenges of utilizing collaboration to address one of the most challenging issues facing society today – climate change adaptation. Drawing on an analysis of Dutch efforts to manage their Delta Program, the authors found that consensus efforts were able to overcome deep uncertainties and value controversies. However, they also found significant challenges, including the need to develop more powerful political leadership, trade-offs between scientific depth and negotiated knowledge and trade-offs between consensus and decisiveness. They conclude that the approach in the Dutch Delta Program has been successful in introducing new ways of working, but cannot determine whether this has been sufficient to adjust standard routines in the water domain.