Collaborative environmental governance and natural resource management

Project leader(s)

A fundamental rethinking is currently under way internationally as to how to deal with so called ‘wicked’ problems which seem of such a scale and complexity as to defy solution. An emerging New Governance paradigm, which ‘de-centres’ the state, and incorporates collaboration, empowered participation and deliberation, claims to provide more responsive, effective and legitimate solutions than the interventionist regulatory state, the free market or the New Public Management. There can be no better illustration of a ‘wicked’ problem to which the New Governance is being applied than Natural Resource Management (NRM) – where the challenges are enormous and the economic and environmental consequences of failing to address them, profound. But will new goverance ‘work’, and if so how? Will it be possible to develop principles and practical tools capable of replication and successful application across a variety of other fields. And what are the broader implications of this approach for regulation, governance and public policy? Existing regulatory and governance theory has yet to come to terms with these, or similar experiments in other fields. This project explores the architecture of the new collaborative environmental governance, and seeks to understand its nature and outcomes.


Image: Emeritus Professor Neil Gunningham (RegNet)

Professor Neil Gunningham

Neil Gunningham has degrees in law and criminology from Sheffield University, UK, is a Barrister and Solicitor (ACT) and holds a PhD from...

Climate, energy & the environment cluster

Climate, energy and the environment

This cluster has four broad regulatory and governance research themes: identifying obstacles and options for effective energy governance; analysing state and private governance mechanisms for mitigating climate change; examining the opportunities and constraints of the green economy in transforming infrastructure and urban development; and exploring creative regulatory solutions to transnational environmental problems.

Updated:  10 August 2017/Responsible Officer:  Director, RegNet/Page Contact:  Director, RegNet