The presentation contained key components of a literature and report review of collaborative governance as a concept, and the institutional drivers that change it. Agnes Batory (Principal Investigator) and Sara Svensson (Researcher) also presented upcoming work in the TROPICO project.
The report constitutes the first deliverable of the project TROPICO (Transforming into Open, Innovative and Collaborative Governments), a project that between June 2017 and May 2021 comparatively examines how public administrations are transformed to enhance collaboration in policy design and service delivery, and advance the participation of public, private and societal actors. TROPICO investigates collaborative governance across five different European administrative traditions represented by ten European Union member states: Nordic (Norway, Denmark), Central and Eastern European (Estonia, Hungary), Continental (Netherlands, Germany), Napoleonic (France, Spain) and mixed (Belgium).
The report reviews both scholarly and grey literature, spanning several disciplines and consisting of several inter-related strands, on collaborative governance. Based on a quantitative text analysis of over 700 publications, it provides a systematic review of how the concept is interpreted in the academic literature, as well as a qualitative review drawing on a wide range of sources. The report demonstrates that the term is used to describe practices that differ in terms of five key dimensions: participation (inside and/or outside government); agency (who drives these processes); inclusiveness (organizational and/or citizen participation); scope (timing and stage of policy cycle); and normative assumptions (positive or neutral). Furthermore, the report derives from the literature a list of institutional factors that may facilitate or obstruct collaboration with some tentative propositions about the causal mechanisms behind these variables. Finally, the report confirms a gap in the scholarly and practitioner literature with respect to the nature and analysis of relevant rules and legal frameworks that structure collaborative practices ('codes of collaboration').