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Authors: Thibert, Joël
Advisors: Massey, Douglas S.
Doig, Jameson W.
Contributors: Public and International Affairs Department
Keywords: Environmental Conservation
Metropolitan Governance
New Regionalism
Regional Collaboration
Regional Competitiveness
Regional Resilience
Subjects: Land use planning
Political Science
Urban planning
Issue Date: 2013
Publisher: Princeton, NJ : Princeton University
Abstract: Three decades ago, Danielson and Doig (1982) asked an important question: to what extent do the actions of governmental organizations have a significant independent influence on urban development within the metropolitan sphere? Since then, the focus of most scholars in the field has shifted from the structure and influence of formal government to that of civil society and informal modes of governance, more generally. This shift can be explained, partly, by the rise of the "new regionalist" school, which emphasizes the importance of informal and voluntary regional collaboration between both local governments and private, non-governmental actors. Given that voluntary collaboration has become the modus operandi of a large number of North American metropolitan regions and that the scholarly community has generally been more interested in the determinants of collaboration than in its effects, this dissertation asks (echoing Danielson and Doig): to what extent does regional collaboration have a significant independent influence on urban development within the metropolitan sphere (whether by giving weight to existing policies, facilitating policy implementation or fostering the development of new regional policies), as opposed to having no influence or influencing governance capacity without influencing policy outcomes? In other words, this research seeks to discover whether regional collaboration makes a difference - and if so what type of collaboration, under what conditions and in what ways. More specifically, this dissertation concentrates on the effect of three types of collaboration (bottom-up, state-mandated and functional) and the moderating role of three factors (regional awareness, governmental initiative and civic capital) on three main outcomes (environmental preservation, socio-economic integration and economic competitiveness). This research uses a mixed-method approach, with a large-N quantitative analysis of the 110 largest metropolitan regions in Canada and the U.S. as well as a comparative, historical analysis of the Greater Montreal and the San Francisco Bay Area focused on collaborative efforts in the fields of environmental protection and economic development. The results suggest that state-mandated collaboration tends to be more effective than other collaboration types, but that higher government initiative can both increase and decrease the effectiveness of collaborative regional initiatives. From a methodological perspective, the findings herein suggest that regional collaboration may, at times, initiate a domino effect whereby one collaborative effort leads to another, which leads to yet another, which finally bears fruits; hence, the results of regional collaboration may or may not be observable in the short term. However, the research also underscores the fact that regional collaboration without vertical power can lead into a trap - a "collaborative trap" of sorts - wherein collaboration produces intrinsic, but not necessarily extrinsic, changes in the environment and gives participants a false sense of efficacy.
Alternate format: The Mudd Manuscript Library retains one bound copy of each dissertation. Search for these copies in the library's main catalog
Type of Material: Academic dissertations (Ph.D.)
Language: en
Appears in Collections:Public and International Affairs

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