Chapter 9Collaborative Communities

It’s no secret that governance at the community level has grown increasingly difficult in the past half century. Issues have become more complex, stakeholders more numerous and vocal, media scrutiny more intense, and legal battles more common. The level of distrust toward the government has soared.

If you compare our five principles of collaborative action (in Part II) and the concept of facilitative leadership (in Part III) with what goes on daily in civic culture in the United States, it becomes immediately clear why we face governance problems at the community level. The cultural norms of political life violate all six powerful ideas about collaborative action. Relevant stakeholders are left out of most ...

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