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Center for Environmental Policy

Collaborative Governance Mapping Project

This project seeks to map the connections between concepts related to collaborative governance in an effort to promote advancement in the field by connecting literature across academic disciplines. The lack of concise terminology describing collaborative governance phenomena is a barrier for theory building. Research assessing collaboration as a governance strategy frequently fails to include relevant studies due to the lack of a common vocabulary. This project begins to address this issue by distinguishing collaborative governance terminology and drawing linkages between scholars who are using different terms to describe the same thing.

To do this, we will utilize social network analysis software, specifically correspondence analysis to assess the following: (1) the extent to which terms are commonly cited or co-cited by scholars; (2) the extent to which terminology used by scholars are conceptually similar; and (3) the extent to which terms are shared across academic disciplines.

The utility in this demonstration is that it provides a sense of whether the spatial clustering of terms and scholars seems to correspond to formally delineated fields of study or whether the clusters seem to suggest more emergent fields. In assessing the ties between scholars and concepts, 63 prominent scholars studying similar phenomena of collaborative governance were entered into UCINET, along with 16 concept terms they used to define such phenomena (Table 1, Figure 1). In addition, an attribute layer of the scholars’ field of study was assigned in an effort to delineate the academic fields utilizing these terms and allow for more cross-fertilization in collaboration research.

Table 1. The extent to which terms are utilized and cited by scholars.

Table 1

Figure 1. The extent to which terms are commonly cited or co-cited by scholars.

Figure 1

Jennifer Biddle, PhD in environmental science and public policy, will serve as the project lead. Kimberly Richards, MS in public administration and policy, will provide research assistance from the center for the project.