Najam’s Book Chapter Describes Collaborative Governance as Jazz
In his chapter in the new book ‘Building Collaborative Governance in Times of Uncertainty’ (Leuven University Press, 2023) Professor Adil Najam compares collaborative governance to Jazz and suggests that while the process of collaboration in governance can sometimes be messy and unpredictable, the result can be beautiful; maybe even music. Najam, who is Dean Emeritus and Professor at the Pardee School of Global Studies at Boston University, studied the experience of collaborative governance – Etorkizuna Eraikiz – in the Basque province of Gipuzkoa during 2022 while on sabbatical in San Sebastián, Spain (more here, here and here).
The book, ‘Building Collaborative Governance in Times of Uncertainty’ (Leuven University Press, 2023), is edited by Xabier Barandiaran, Maria Jose Canel and Greet Bouckaert and is also published in Spanish and Basque languages. The edited collection looks into the challenges creating systems of collaborative governance as a means of strengthening democracy by exploring the experience in the Basque province of Gipuzkoa. In his contribution to the book, “Collaborative Governance as Jazz: Three Propositions”, Najam describes the province’s Etorkizuna Eraikiz (building the future) program “as a grand experiment by the provincial government of the province of Gipuzkoa in the Basque Country in Spain to ‘change the way of doing politics’” and suggests three propositions about what can be learnt about collaborative governance from this experiment:
Proposition 1: Collaborative governance is best viewed as jazz, not as a symphony.
Proposition 2: Beyond representation, collaborative governance can be designed to enhance government effectiveness.
Proposition 3. Changing the logic of collaborative governance could change democracy.
Adil Najam is Dean Emeritus and Professor at the Pardee School of Global Studies at Boston University and since July 2023 also serves as the President of WWF-International. He served as the Inaugural Dean of the Frederick S. Pardee School of Global Studies from 2014-2022. He is also a former Vice-Chancellor of the Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS). His research focuses on issues of global public policy, especially those related to global climate change, South Asia, Muslim countries, environment and development, and human development. Read more about Najam on his Pardee School faculty profile.