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Collaborative Governance


Admission requirements

MPA students of the PML track can register for this course.


The specialisation course Collaborative Governance teaches you how collaboration between government agencies, private sector corporations, non-profit organisations and citizens is required to address complex societal problems, and how managers can overcome the difficulties that are inherent to successful collaboration. Societal problems increasingly cut across national, sectoral, organisational and professional boundaries. Solving such problems requires that different societal actors work together and jointly utilise their diverse resources, experiences and expertise. In such a way, collaborative governance can result in innovative solutions to tackle wicked societal problems. However, collaborative governance is challenging to bring about in practice, because different actors typically have conflicting goals, values and interests.

This course examines the core theoretical principles and historical development of collaborative governance. You will be introduced to the main modes of collaborative governance, including governance networks and citizen engagement. The course materials and classroom examples are based on an internationally comparative perspective, and the course is highly practice-oriented by teaching you how managers can make collaborative governance work in practice.

Course objectives

At the end of this course, students are able to

  • Critically evaluate the relevance and historical development of collaborative governance research in the public sector;

  • Differentiate between public and private sector organisations based on their core differences;

  • Provide a critical reflection on the promises and challenges of collaboration in the public sector based on research and theory;

  • Analyse how management contributes to the success of inter-organisational networks;

  • To apply the scientific literature to inform debates about collaborative governance arrangement in the public sector.


On the right side of the programme front page of the Prospectus you will find links to the website and timetables, uSis and Brightspace.

Mode of instruction

Weekly classes (21 hours), individual paper (40 hours), self study (79 hours).

Assessment method

Class participation (20%) and individual assignment (80%). Students will be permitted to retake the individual assignment if an insufficient grade has been obtained using the first attempt. Class participation cannot be retaken.

Partial grades are only valid in the current academic year; partial grades will not remain valid after the exam and the resit of the course.

Reading list

To be announced.


Register for every course and workgroup via MyStudymap or uSis. Registration for courses is possible from 13 July 13.00h. Some courses and workgroups have a limited number of participants, so register on time (before the course starts). In uSis you can access your personal schedule and view your results.

Leiden University uses Brightspace as its online learning management system. After enrolment for the course in uSis you will be automatically enrolled in the Brightspace environment of this course.


Dr. K. Suzuki