Collaboration between public administration organizations and various stakeholders is often prescribed as a potential solution to the current complex problems of governance, such as climate change. According to the Advocacy Coalition Framework, shared beliefs are one of the most important drivers of collaboration. However, studies investigating the role of beliefs in collaboration show mixed results. Some argue that similarity of general normative and empirical policy beliefs elicits collaboration, while others focus on beliefs concerning policy instruments. Proposing a new divisive beliefs hypothesis, we suggest that agreeing on those beliefs over which there is substantial disagreement in the policy subsystem is what matters for collaboration. Testing our hypotheses using policy network analysis and data on climate policy subsystems in eleven countries (Australia, Brazil, the Czech Republic, Germany, Finland, Ireland, Japan, Korea, Portugal, Sweden, and Taiwan), we find belief similarity to be a stronger predictor of collaboration when the focus is divisive beliefs rather than normative and empirical policy beliefs or beliefs concerning policy instruments. This knowledge can be useful for managing collaborative governance networks because it helps to identify potential competing coalitions and to broker compromises between them.
|Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory
|Early online date
|21 Jul 2022
|E-pub ahead of print - 21 Jul 2022