The initiation and sustainability of collaboration between small local governments: a comparative analysis of England and Thailand

Chamchong, Pobsook (2016). The initiation and sustainability of collaboration between small local governments: a comparative analysis of England and Thailand. University of Birmingham. Ph.D.

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Collaboration provides a way of increasing the capacity of small local governments in providing services without reducing the quality of local democracy. The Thai government has been promoting cross-council collaboration with limited success while it has been widely implemented in England for decades. In the literature, little attention has been paid by scholars to the way in which the formation of collaboration and its implementation interacts. To generate new insights of academic and practical relevance, this study aims to generate insightful explanations about the role of collaborative entrepreneurs and collaborative managers in the initiation and institutional embedding of small council collaboration policy. It employs comparative empirical analysis of two pairs of cases in England and Thailand, set within an original theoretical framework built on the integration of policy-making models, the typology of collaboration on a continuum, and the notion of factors influencing sustainable collaboration. The thesis adds to the literature by distinguishing between and empirically demonstrating two roles – ‘collaborative entrepreneurs’, who initiate collaboration to solve immediate shared problems of resource scarcity and dependency facing small councils, and ‘collaborative managers’, who maintain sustainability of the collaboration and facilitate further integration across councils. It also reveals that the converse of resource/power dependency applies where the council with larger resources can become locked-in to disadvantageous relationships controlled by small councils with fewer resources. Furthermore this thesis shows that collaboration is more likely to occur where it does not challenge the vested interests of citizens and councillors. Building a coalition for change and developing collaborative culture are essential for enduring collaboration.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ph.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ph.D.
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Social Sciences
School or Department: Institute of Local Government Studies
Funders: None/not applicable
Subjects: J Political Science > JS Local government Municipal government


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