A Terminological Quagmire

At the outset of the lesson it is important to acknowledge that terminology associated with ‘working together’ in relation to sustainable communities is vast. This includes: strategic alliance, collaboration, coordination, partnership, coalition, co-management, adaptive co-management, co-governance, and so on. Often, these terms overlap and intersect in a variety of ways. While the imprecise or interchangeable use of terms may not appear to be cause for concern, it is of paramount importance in science and society. In science, precision is required regarding the phenomena being studied. In application, each term carries vastly different connotations. For example, the expectations of participants in a strategic alliance may be very different from co-management. Further muddling this situation is that terms associated with working together are not mutually exclusive. We next consider a few of the most frequently used terms with specificity and then examine their positioning along key conceptual dimensions. Expand the following terms to learn more about each approach:

 

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Building Sustainable Communities: Collaboration by Ryan Plummer; Amanda Smits; Samantha Witkowski; Bridget McGlynn; Derek Armitage; Ella-Kari Muhl; and Jodi Johnston is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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