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Chapter 3: Foundational Aspects of Polycentric Governance: Overarching Rules, Social-problem Characteristics and Hheterogeneity

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Type: Book Chapter
Author: Thiel, Andreas; Moser, Christine
Book Title: Governing Complexity: Analyzing and Applying Polycentricity
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Location: New York
Page(s): 65-90
Date: 2019
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/10535/10787
Subject(s): Governing Complexity
Abstract: "In this chapter, we address what we consider some foundational components shaping emergent polycentric governance that can help to explain the scalar organisation and diversity of governance arrangements we encounter as well as their performance. First, we argue that polycentric governance is founded on particular overarching rules, which enable self-organization by providers, producers, consumers and citizens involved in governance of collective goods. Second, polycentric governance draws together a diversity of ways to address the social problems, along with their characteristics and performance criteria, that involved actors bring into negotiations over governance. Variability in social problem characteristics consequently leads to variable governance structures and levels of performance. Third, heterogeneity of communities (e.g. in terms of income, education, values) engaged in polycentric governance can provide further insights regarding why people prioritize certain performative aspects of governance in relation to different criteria and, therefore, seek to realize their aims through a diversity of governance arrangements. This chapter elaborates on the foundational roles these variables play in shaping polycentric governance and highlights existing research gaps regarding key issues related to them."

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