Managing Incentive Dynamics for Collaborative Governance in Land and Ecological Conservation

Published date01 March 2014
Date01 March 2014
Ching-Ping Tang is Distinguished
Professor of Political Science, director
of the master’s degree program in
Asia-Pacif‌i c studies, and associate dean of
the College of Social Science at National
Chengchi University (Taiwan). He is also
editor in chief of Taiwanese Political
Science Review. He has published in
several different f‌i elds, including sociology
(Human Ecology), environmental
studies (Environment and Planning
A), area studies (China Quarterly),
developmental studies (Journal of
Developmental Studies), and political
science (Comparative Politics). He holds
a doctorate from the University of Southern
Shui-Yan Tang is Frances R. and
John J. Duggan Professor in Public
Administration in the Sol Price School
of Public Policy at the University of
Southern California. His research focuses
on institutional analysis and design,
common-pool resource governance, and
collaborative governance. He is author of
Ten Principles for a Rule-Ordered
Society: Enhancing China’s Governing
Capacity (China Economic Publishing
House, 2012) and Institutions,
Regulatory Styles, Society, and
Environmental Governance in China
(with Carlos Lo; Routledge, 2014).
220 Public Administration Review • March | April 2014
Public Administration Review,
Vol. 74, Iss. 2, pp. 220–231. © 2014 by
The American Society for Public Administration.
DOI: 10.1111/puar.12190.
Ching-Ping Tang
National Chengchi University, Taiwan
Shui-Yan Tang
University of Southern California
Public governance often involves policy tools and stake-
holders from multiple sectors. How dif‌f erent policy tools
are used may af‌f ect the chances that the values and inter-
ests of diverse stakeholders can be aligned in mutually
supportive ways. Drawing on insights from behavioral
and cognitive economics, this article uses the case of land
and ecological conservation in Twin Lake, Taiwan, to
illustrate how various interactive dynamics—hierarchical
exclusion and preemptive ef‌f ects—may af‌f ect ef‌f orts in
land and ecological conservation involving stakeholders
from multiple sectors. Such illustrations may inform the
choice and sequencing of policy tools for facilitating col-
laborative governance.
Collaborative governance has been a major
focus of research in public administration in
the past decade.  e special issue of Public
Administrative Review on “Collaborative Public
Management” in 2006 featured major research topics
in negotiation, conf‌lict resolution, dispute system
design, and consensus building (O’Leary, Gerard, and
Bingham 2006, 8). An important topic mostly left out
of that special issue concerns stakeholders’ incentives for
collaborative partnership. Creating the right incentives
for stakeholders to work with each other is crucial for
the success of collaborative governance. Developments
in psychology and behavioral and cognitive econom-
ics in past decades have also highlighted the complex
interactive dynamics among dif‌f erent forms of incen-
tives. Yet knowledge about these complex dynamics has
seldom been applied explicitly to study collaborative
governance issues.  is article is an attempt along this
direction, focusing on a specif‌i c type of governance
task: land and ecological
Ecological conservation is inevi-
tably intertwined with land-use
issues, as species habitation
and migration patterns seldom
coincide with jurisdictional
and landownership boundaries.
In the United States, given
the cross-jurisdictional nature of biodiversity issues
and the legal threats associated with the Endangered
Species Act, agencies from dif‌f erent levels of gov-
ernment increasingly have been motivated to work
together to develop and implement programs for
supporting biodiversity ( omas 2003).  e mat-
ter becomes more complicated when landownership
is taken into consideration, as more than half of the
species on the endangered species list have at least
80 percent of their habitats on private lands (Innes,
Polasky, and Tschirhart 1998, 35; U.S. Fish and
Wildlife Service 1997).1
is fact creates many potential conf‌l icts between
nature conservation and land-use rights. Similar
problems appear in many other countries; solutions
to these problems often require coordinated ef‌f orts
from multiple stakeholders across dif‌f erent sectors.2
Land and ecological conservation can thus serve as
a valuable window for examining crucial issues in
collaborative governance (Ansell and Gash 2008;
Emerson, Nabatchi, and Balogh 2012;  omson and
Perry 2006).  ere has been a steady stream of studies
in public administration using this policy arena as the
context for understanding collaborative governance
(Imperial 2005; Jung, Mazmanian, and Tang 2009;
omas 2003;  omas and Koontz 2011; Weber
2009).  is article adds on to this stream of research
by highlighting the need for managing incentive
dynamics in promoting collaboration in land and
ecological conservation.
ere are many possible ways to coordinate ef‌f orts in
land and ecological conserva-
tion.  e regulatory approach
usually involves statutes or
zoning regulations limiting
the types of activities allowed
in specif‌i c areas. It may also
involve the use of eminent
domain, such that private
landowners are required by law
to sell their lands at fair market
Managing Incentive Dynamics for Collaborative
Governance in Land and Ecological Conservation
Ecological conservation is inevi-
tably intertwined with land-use
issues, as species habitation
and migration patterns seldom
coincide with jurisdictional and
landownership boundaries.

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