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Collaboration is increasingly seen as an important aspect of successful water management, and yet it remains insufficiently understood. This paper examines how collaboration is influenced by the governance system that guides and organizes the related actions and interactions. Building upon an existing governance assessment tool, this paper provides the basis for predicting how supportive (or restrictive) a governance system will be towards collaboration, according to eight different governance system classes. The validity of this framework is reflected upon in case studies from five countries: Mexico, the Netherlands, Canada, Romania and Turkey. The collaborative processes in Mexico, Romania and Turkey are embedded in restrictive governance systems and show low levels of collaboration. The governance system in the Canadian case is assessed as neutral and shows a medium level of collaboration, whereas the governance system in the Netherlands shows high levels of collaboration and is assessed as supportive. The results are encouraging, as the case studies demonstrate the predicted influences of a governance system on collaboration. Yet, the case studies also highlight the potential importance of characteristics of the collaborative process and collaborating actors. Copyright © 2016 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd and ERP Environment
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)229-241
JournalEnvironmental policy and governance
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • METIS-321268
  • IR-103218
  • 22/4 OA procedure


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