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Collaborative Governance: Private Roles for Public Goals in Turbulent Times

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Overview

All too often government lacks the skill, the will, and the wallet to meet its missions. Schools fall short of the mark while roads and bridges fall into disrepair. Health care costs too much and delivers too little. Budgets bleed red ink as the cost of services citizens want outstrips the taxes they are willing to pay. Collaborative Governance is the first book to offer solutions by demonstrating how government at every level can engage the private sector to overcome seemingly insurmountable problems and achieve public goals more effectively.

John Donahue and Richard Zeckhauser show how the public sector can harness private expertise to bolster productivity, capture information, and augment resources. The authors explain how private engagement in public missions—rightly structured and skillfully managed—is not so much an alternative to government as the way smart government ought to operate. The key is to carefully and strategically grant discretion to private entities, whether for-profit or nonprofit, in ways that simultaneously motivate and empower them to create public value. Drawing on a host of real-world examples-including charter schools, job training, and the resurrection of New York's Central Park—they show how, when, and why collaboration works, and also under what circumstances it doesn't.

Collaborative Governance reveals how the collaborative approach can be used to tap the resourcefulness and entrepreneurship of the private sector, and improvise fresh, flexible solutions to today's most pressing public challenges.

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Editorial Reviews

Economic Principals
No one has summed up quite as concisely the transcendent idea behind the deregulation movement of the last fifty years as have Donahue and Zeckhauser: that by carefully granting decision-making authority to private entities, profit and non-profit enterprises alike, government can achieve considerable gains in both efficiency and consent.
— David Warsh
Enlightened Economist blog
For anybody who has any experience in public life, either as a politician or official, or in the private sector working on government contracts, Collaborative Governance by John Donahue and Richard Zeckhauser is an interesting read.
— Diane Coyle
Reality-Based Community
Public-private collaboration, for better and for worse, is the way of American government. Sometimes this is done very well. Sometimes . . . this is done very badly. Elected officials and public managers need to learn to do this more effectively, because that's the way their work will get done. John Donahue and Richard Zeckhauser provide a great starting point to ponder these issues. . . . Through a variety of case studies, they consider what government must do in monitoring and motivating private partners to make such arrangements a success. . . . This book effectively demonstrates that government can increase public value by properly and carefully collaborating with the for-profit and non-profit sectors.
— Harold Pollack
LSE Politics and Policy
Required reading for anyone interested or involved in public policy making to understand the potential value, and risks, of collaborative governance.
— Sasha Jesperson
Economic Principals - David Warsh
No one has summed up quite as concisely the transcendent idea behind the deregulation movement of the last fifty years as have Donahue and Zeckhauser: that by carefully granting decision-making authority to private entities, profit and non-profit enterprises alike, government can achieve considerable gains in both efficiency and consent.
Enlightened Economist blog - Diane Coyle
For anybody who has any experience in public life, either as a politician or official, or in the private sector working on government contracts, Collaborative Governance by John Donahue and Richard Zeckhauser is an interesting read.
Reality-Based Community - Harold Pollack
Public-private collaboration, for better and for worse, is the way of American government. Sometimes this is done very well. Sometimes . . . this is done very badly. Elected officials and public managers need to learn to do this more effectively, because that's the way their work will get done. John Donahue and Richard Zeckhauser provide a great starting point to ponder these issues. . . . Through a variety of case studies, they consider what government must do in monitoring and motivating private partners to make such arrangements a success. . . . This book effectively demonstrates that government can increase public value by properly and carefully collaborating with the for-profit and non-profit sectors.
LSE Politics and Policy - Sasha Jesperson
Required reading for anyone interested or involved in public policy making to understand the potential value, and risks, of collaborative governance.
From the Publisher
"No one has summed up quite as concisely the transcendent idea behind the deregulation movement of the last fifty years as have Donahue and Zeckhauser: that by carefully granting decision-making authority to private entities, profit and non-profit enterprises alike, government can achieve considerable gains in both efficiency and consent."—David Warsh, Economic Principals

"For anybody who has any experience in public life, either as a politician or official, or in the private sector working on government contracts, Collaborative Governance by John Donahue and Richard Zeckhauser is an interesting read."—Diane Coyle, Enlightened Economist blog

"Public-private collaboration, for better and for worse, is the way of American government. Sometimes this is done very well. Sometimes . . . this is done very badly. Elected officials and public managers need to learn to do this more effectively, because that's the way their work will get done. John Donahue and Richard Zeckhauser provide a great starting point to ponder these issues. . . . Through a variety of case studies, they consider what government must do in monitoring and motivating private partners to make such arrangements a success. . . . This book effectively demonstrates that government can increase public value by properly and carefully collaborating with the for-profit and non-profit sectors."—Harold Pollack, Reality-Based Community

"Required reading for anyone interested or involved in public policy making to understand the potential value, and risks, of collaborative governance."—Sasha Jesperson, LSE Politics and Policy blog

"Donahue and Zeckhauser have written an appealing book that, once again, conceives of collaboration as possible. . . . The scholarship upon which the book is based can not be doubted. . . . The public, non profit, and private sectors will need one another to meet on the basis of respect for the strengths of the other. This book's optimism is a delightful step in that direction."—Jos C. N. Raadschelders, Perspectives on Politics

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780691149790
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press
  • Publication date: 3/21/2011
  • Pages: 320
  • Product dimensions: 6.30 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

John D. Donahue and Richard J. Zeckhauser both teach at the Harvard Kennedy School—Zeckhauser economics and analytics, Donahue public management and business-government relations. They write on related themes, Donahue mostly books (this is his twelfth) while Zeckhauser favors articles (he's done hundreds, several of them seminal). Donahue chairs Harvard's Master in Public Policy program and held senior roles in the Clinton administration. Zeckhauser pioneered the field of policy analysis and is a national-champion bridge player.

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Table of Contents

Foreword by Stephen Breyer ix

Part I: The Promise and Problems of Collaboration
Chapter 1: Private Roles for Public Goals 3
Chapter 2: Rationales and Reservations 27
Chapter 3
: he Delegator’s Dilemma 45

Part II: Rationales—More, Better, or Both
Chapter 4: Collaboration for Productivity 63
Chapter 5: Collaboration for Information 104
Chapter 6: Collaboration for Legitimacy 122
Chapter 7: Collaboration for Resources 156

Part III: The Art of Collaboration
Chapter 8: Tasks and Tools 207
Chapter 9: Getting Collaboration Right 240
Chapter 10: Forging the Future: Payoff s and Perils 264
Acknowledgments 289
Index 291

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