Beyond Consensus
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Beyond Consensus

Improving Collaborative Planning and Management

By Richard D. Margerum

An examination of how to move from consensus to implementation using collaborative approaches to natural resource management, urban planning, and environmental policy.





An examination of how to move from consensus to implementation using collaborative approaches to natural resource management, urban planning, and environmental policy.

Collaborative approaches are increasingly common across a range of governance and policy areas. Single-issue, single-organization solutions often prove ineffective for complex, contentious, and diffuse problems. Collaborative efforts allow cross-jurisdictional governance and policy, involving groups that may operate on different decision-making levels. In Beyond Consensus, Richard Margerum examines the full range of collaborative enterprises in natural resource management, urban planning, and environmental policy. He explains the pros and cons of collaborative approaches, develops methods to test their effectiveness, and identifies ways to improve their implementation and results. Drawing on extensive case studies of collaborations in the United States and Australia, Margerum shows that collaboration is not just about developing a strategy but also about creating and sustaining arrangements that can support collaborative implementation.

Margerum outlines a typology of collaborative efforts and a typology of networks to support implementation. He uses these typologies to explain the factors that are likely to make collaborations successful and examines the implications for participants. The rich case studies in Beyond Consensus—which range from watershed management to transportation planning, and include both successes and failures—offer lessons in collaboration that make the book ideal for classroom use. It is also designed to help practitioners evaluate and improve collaborative efforts at any phase. The book's theoretical framework provides scholars with a means to assess the effectiveness of collaborations and explain their ability to achieve results.


Out of Print ISBN: 9780262015813 416 pp. | 9 in x 7 in 15 figures, 30 tables


$41.00 X | £32.00 ISBN: 9780262516211 416 pp. | 9 in x 7 in 15 figures, 30 tables


  • This is a terrific book that is long overdue in so many ways. It offers up a definition of collaborative that explicitly recognizes the 'network' criteria, which draws our attention to the sustainability question. Its focus on the 7 Cs is a good, powerful way to pull together the complicated dynamics of collaboratives in an understandable manner for scholars and practitioners. And it does an excellent job offering up practical lessons for public and private stakeholders to apply.

    Edward Weber

    Director and Professor, School of Environmental Studies, University of Nevada, Las Vegas; author of Bringing Society Back In

  • This book will be an invaluable reference for anyone who seeks practical ways to resolve complex and controversial resource management issues. Building on a wide range of case study research, it offers frameworks for understanding the options and strategies for establishing and implementing collaborative management projects.

    Judith E. Innes

    Professor of City and Regional Planning, University of California, Berkeley

  • At last a treatment of this topic that goes beyond kum-ba-ya declarations about the sanctity of consensus and instead rigorously analyzes the process and outcomes of collaborative planning at various scales. Beyond Consensus will be an indispensible resource for anyone concerned with using collaboration to achieve results. Superbly evidenced with more than forty detailed case studies across two continents, the book shows how collaborative environmental planning can be used to combat environmental degradation in complex, interjurisdictional circumstances. A significant achievement.

    Marcus Lane

    Research Program Leader, Social and Economic Sciences Program, and Chair, CSIRO Social Science Human Research Ethics Committee, CSIRO Ecosystem Sciences