Public collaborations and wicked issues - A study of collaboration structures in dealing with violence in close relationships
Sammanfattning: To address wicked issues, public authorities depend on each other. Yet an ongoing trend within contemporary public administration has been to streamline and decentralize welfare service. Consequently, the need for public agencies to work through inter-organisational collaborations has increased. Substantial knowledge of how this works in practice is however lacking. The aim of this thesis is to understand how public authorities collaborate in wicked policy issues. To achieve this, the thesis applies a theoretical framework of Social Network Analysis on a case of wicked policy issue, namely violence in close relationships in Sweden. A mixed method-approach is applied in which a quantitative survey-study is complemented by in-depth interviews. A core-peripheral structure of collaboration is found, with certain actors being more central than others. Different actors possess advantages positions in somewhat varying way and the perception of influence in the collaboration structure varies depending on actors’ positions within it. Resource exchange was found to have long-lasting implications on the prominence of actors. Smaller organisations, such as municipal actors, were identified as the most vulnerable actors within the collaboration structure, with some exceptions. As divisions in the collaboration structure was only identified through interviews, as such the study also points to the need for mixed methods when studying complex issues such as collaboration in wicked issues.
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