Action and inertia in collaborative governance

Christina M. Kossmann, Jelle H. Behagel*, Megan Bailey

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) have emerged as an important tool to protect the marine environment and are increasingly implemented through collaborative governance networks. Even though collaborative governance is thought of as a way towards more effective decision-making, sustainable outcomes remain difficult to realize. This article argues for an integrative understanding of governance challenges to marine conservation by studying collaboration dynamics. It presents a case study of Nusa Penida, a recently established MPA in Indonesia, to highlight how collaboration dynamics in governance can lead to either collaborative action or collaborative inertia. The results suggest that collaborative action requires a broad set of social activities that re-enforce one another in a virtuous cycle. Accordingly, recommendations for the implementation of collaborative governance in marine conservation entail attention for multiple social elements that make up collaborative governance, including deliberation, trust, and leadership.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)21-30
JournalMarine Policy
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2016


  • Collaborative action
  • Collaborative inertia
  • Marine protected area
  • Nusa penida
  • Policy and action-oriented networks
  • Social dynamics


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