The complexity of current environmental problems poses a challenge to the field of public management. With multiple stressors acting on the earth’s natural systems, the likelihood that complex environmental problems will persist is undeniable. Traditional approaches to such problems follow a top-down method, often useful for problem management within public policy; however, it proves too rigid when considering the complexity of environmental policy. Recent literature points to the use of collaboration and coordination in addressing complex problems, whereby stakeholders accumulate knowledge and resources across a variety of fields. One such method is network governance, identified as a problem-solving approach capable of understanding and addressing complex problems. Therefore, the characteristics of this approach deem it appropriate to addressing complex environmental problems. Considering this in conjunction with the existing need to address environmental policy through a multidimensional lens, this paper discusses the management of complex environmental problems – specifically, the use of network settings in addressing compound problems. In doing so, the author finds that understanding the management of complex problems is best accomplished by understanding the complexity of the network within which the issue exists.
"A Network Approach to Complex Problems: Understanding Collaborative Governance in Watershed Management,"
Hatfield Graduate Journal of Public Affairs:
2, Article 7.
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