Benefit Analysis in Criminal Justice: An Example Application to a Statewide Drug Treatment System

By Peter A. Collins | Go to book overview

Chapter 2: Theoretical Framework:
Intersection of Policy and Practice

In their book entitled Working Together, Potette, Janssen, and Ostrom (2010) discuss collaboration and collective action in the context of natural resource management. The authors offer a convincing argument for the adoption of multi-method approaches in collaborativeinterdisciplinary research, which aims to tackle systemic and pervasive issues central to the effective co-management of natural resources. Although the book’s primary goal is to illuminate methodological concerns and promote multi-method research strategies, the context within which the authors situate their analyses and the collaborative essence in which it is steeped provide a convenient segue into the issues present in the study at hand. The complexities, the mixture of understandings and misunderstandings that inevitably arise out of the many discussions related to shared-resource management – such as use of non-renewable/sustainable energy sources, pursuit of economic development versus environmental protection concerns, expanded water resource use versus watershed management, and industrial agricultural production versus the promotion of public health – all have a single yet highly multifarious conceptual common-ground; at the heart of each set of discussions lies a wicked problem.

The complex problems that challenge policy makers in natural resource management are in part dictated by the context within which they arise. For example, the issues and controversies central to the climate change debate are not neatly contained geographically; rather, they are commonly multi-jurisdictional, often multi-national, and indeed even “global” in many respects. Consequently, responses to these issues must be, and many would argue have been, highly multifaceted (Wilson, 2002; Perry, et al., 2001; Foster, 1999). The same

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