This book takes a practical approach to understanding and describing collaborative governance for resolving environmental problems. It introduces a new collaborative governance assessment model and recognizes that collaborations are a natural result of organizations converging around complex issues. Rather than identifying actors by their type of organization, the actors are identified by the type of role they play. This approach is aligned with how individuals and organizations interact in practice, and their dependance on collaborations to solve emerging environmental problems. The book discusses real cases with governance issues and creates new frameworks for collaborations.


  • Addresses communities at all levels and scales that are gravitating toward collaborations to solve their environmental issues.
  • Prepares and enables individuals to participate in collaborative governance and design collaborative governance frameworks.
  • Introduces the first simplified and standardized model to assess governance using governance actors and styles.
  • Explains governance in simple terms and builds governance frameworks from the individual’s perspective; the smallest, viable unit of governance in a collaboration.
  • Describes "tools of convergence" for collaborative leaders to organize and align activities to create shared-governance outcomes and outputs.

chapter 1|5 pages


part Section I|1 pages

Something Special Is Happening

chapter 2|10 pages

Entering a Collaborative Era

chapter 3|21 pages

Collaborations as Hybrid Organizations

chapter 4|16 pages

Preparing to Collaborate

part Section II|1 pages

The Science of Collaborative Governance

chapter 5|15 pages

Of Actors and Styles

chapter 7|18 pages

Governance Footprints and Frameworks

part Section III|1 pages

Social Complexity and Three Wicked Case Studies

chapter 8|10 pages

Social Complexity

chapter 9|12 pages

The Nature of Societal Problems

chapter 10|8 pages

The Nature of Three Wicked Case Studies

part Section IV|1 pages

Designing Collaborative Governance Frameworks

chapter 11|8 pages

The Nature of Collaborative Governance

chapter 13|6 pages

Making Collaborative Governance Happen

chapter 14|4 pages