Governance without we. Wicked problems and collaborative governance

Bannink, Duco; Sancino, Alessandro and Sorrentino, Maddalena (2024). Governance without we. Wicked problems and collaborative governance. Public Policy and Administration (early access).



In this introductory article to our PPA special issue we argue that the relation between wicked problems and collaborative governance is fraught with difficulties. Doing so, we take four steps: we maintain that wicked problems are better understood as wicked actor constellations; we delve into the collaborative governance-approach and posit that it is mainly concerned with wicked problems; we then argue that collaborative governance might not be the most feasible response to wicked problems; and after that we argue that an assumption instead of actors being engaged in actor positioning processes allows a clearer understanding of policy processes in wicked actor constellations. Following this discussion, we introduce the articles featured in the special issue and discuss implications for research.

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