Understanding inclusion in collaborative governance: a mixed methods approach

Christopher Ansell, Carey Doberstein, Hayley Henderson, Saba Siddiki, Paul ‘t Hart

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

93 Scopus citations


Who should be included in collaborative governance and how they should be included is an important topic, though the dynamics of inclusion are not yet well understood. We propose a conceptual model to shape the empirical analysis of what contributes to inclusion in collaborative processes. We propose that incentives, mutual interdependence and trust are important preconditions of inclusion, but that active inclusion management also matters a great deal. We also hypothesize that inclusion is strategic, with ‘selective activation’ of participants depending on functional and pragmatic choices. Drawing on cases from the Collaborative Governance Case Databank, we used a mixed method approach to analyse our model. We found support for the model, and particularly for the central importance of active inclusion management.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)570-591
Number of pages22
JournalPolicy and Society
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 1 2020


  • Collaborative governance
  • inclusion
  • inclusion management
  • network management

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Public Administration
  • Political Science and International Relations


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