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
Date Written: December 14, 2017
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
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