Framing up the “Stretching” of Co-Management

Leonie J. Pearson, Melanie (Lain) Dare

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Collaborative management, or co-management, is recognized as best practice for protected area management. A vast literature explores the benefits and challenges of implementing co-management, but more literature is not always better. We propose that the term co-management has been uncritically “stretched”, losing its original framing of actors working together collaboratively. Co-management has become a facade under which traditional hierarchical and market-based management regimes can occur. Conceptual stretching inhibits the capacity to critically articulate variations within models of collaborative governance. We investigate this stretching through a nuanced framework of co-management models with varying intensities. By considering participating actors, institutions and delivery objectives, the theoretically informed and empirically tested framework highlights the stretched implementation of co-management, enabling protected area managers an opportunity to align their practice with the promise of co-management.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-19
Number of pages19
JournalSociety and Natural Resources
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 11 Jan 2019

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