Collaborative Governance: Emerging Practices and the Incomplete Legal Framework for Citizen and Stakeholder Voice
Missouri Journal of Dispute Resolution, Vol. 2009, No. 2
57 Pages Posted: 22 Jul 2008 Last revised: 5 Feb 2014
Date Written: January 2010
I argue here that we need a comprehensive model to understand emerging uses of collaboration across the policy continuum, and that we need to re-examine our legal framework for policy making, implementation, and enforcement to encompass this new collaborative governance. I take as my starting point the normative assumption that collaboration exists, and that it is useful and desirable in certain contexts if designed and implemented well. This article describes the broad range of processes through which citizens and stakeholders collaborate to make, implement, and enforce public policy, and then describes the incomplete legal framework for these processes. First, it will briefly review collaborative and new governance. Second, it will describe the emergence of deliberative democracy, collaborative public or network management, and appropriate dispute resolution in the policy process and argue that these three fields are related in their role in policy. These three separate fields have not previously been identified as part of a single phenomenon, namely the changing nature of citizen and stakeholder voice in governance. Third, it will describe the policy process and illustrations of how these new forms of participation operate across the policy continuum including legislative, executive, and judicial functions. Fourth, it will briefly review existing legal infrastructure as it authorizes collaboration, or provides constraints, obstacles, or barriers. Finally, I will argue that we need to revise our legal infrastructure needed to facilitate collaboration in a way that will strengthen our democracy.
Keywords: new governance, deliberative democracy, collaborative public management, network governance, appropriate dispute resolution, administrative law
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation