Robustness and the Paradox of Bridging Organizations: The Exit Problem in Regional Water Governance Networks in Central America

Society & Natural Resources, Forthcoming

15 Pages Posted: 14 Dec 2017  

Jacob Hileman

Stockholm University

Marco T. Bastos

City University London - School of Social Sciences

Mark Lubell

University of California, Davis

Date Written: December 14, 2017

Abstract

Bridging organizations facilitate a range of governance processes, including cooperation and social learning, and are theorized to be a key component of robust governance systems. In this article, we use node removal simulations to test structural hypotheses of robustness in a regional water governance network in Central America. We investigate the response of network measures supporting core governance processes to the targeted removal of bridging organizations and other actors, which we compare to random and centrality-based simulations. The results indicate removing bridging organizations has a greater impact on the network than any other type of actor, suggesting bridging organizations are critical to the robustness of the governance system. Furthermore, network structures supporting cooperation may be less robust than structures facilitating social learning. We conclude with policy implications of the research findings as they relate to the exit problem in governance systems with a large presence of international development actors.

Keywords: bridging organizations, environmental governance, exit problem, international development, network robustness

Suggested Citation

Hileman, Jacob and Bastos, Marco Toledo and Lubell, Mark, Robustness and the Paradox of Bridging Organizations: The Exit Problem in Regional Water Governance Networks in Central America (December 14, 2017). Society & Natural Resources, Forthcoming. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3087988

Jacob Hileman (Contact Author)

Stockholm University ( email )

Universitetsvägen 10
Stockholm, Stockholm SE-106 91
Sweden

Marco Toledo Bastos

City University London - School of Social Sciences ( email )

London
United Kingdom

Mark Lubell

University of California, Davis ( email )

One Shields Avenue
Davis, CA 95616
United States

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