Factors driving collaboration in natural resource conflict management: Evidence from Romania

Abstract

A critical challenge in natural resource management is to bring all stakeholders together to negotiate solutions to critical problems. However, various collaborative approaches to heading off conflicts and resolving natural resource management disputes have been used. What drives these efforts, however, still needs further research. Our study provides a systematic look at the drivers likely to initiate collaborative problem-solving efforts in four cases in Romania. We use Emerson’s et al. (2012) framework for collaborative governance and multi-value qualitative comparative analysis (mvQCA) to analyze cases involving endangered species, restrictions on forest harvest, conflicts associated with infrastructure development projects, and disputes over the management of environmentally sensitive areas. Our findings contribute to the already existing collaborative governance literature indicating which of the four factors: uncertainty, interdependence, consequential incentives, and leadership, in which combination, are necessary and sufficient to spur collaborative resource management efforts. Our results showed that in Romania the initiation of collaboration is best explained by positive consequential incentives (i.e., financial opportunities) which has determined leaders to take initiative. This study provides additional information for the complicated process of natural resource management which is often overriding collaboration by investigating what enables and constrains collaborative efforts in a country where natural resources were managed and used according to the principles of central planning.

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Acknowledgements

Special thanks are given to Silviu Chiriac who helped gather information about the Romanian case studies and to the anonymous reviewers for their constructive comments and suggestions. Funding was provided by Romanian National Authority for Scientific Research (Grant No. PN-II-RU-TE-2014-4-0673) and Romania-U.S. Fulbright Commission (Grant No. 584).

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Correspondence to Ioan Cristian Ioja.

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Hossu, C.A., Ioja, I.C., Susskind, L.E. et al. Factors driving collaboration in natural resource conflict management: Evidence from Romania. Ambio 47, 816–830 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s13280-018-1016-0

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Keywords

  • Collaboration
  • Consequential incentives
  • Interdependence
  • Leadership
  • mvQCA
  • Uncertainty