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WIREs Clim Change
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Panacea or paradox? Cross‐sector partnerships, climate change, and development

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Abstract Cross‐sector partnerships between representatives of state, private business, and civil society are widely proposed as means to involve non‐state actors in public policy. Yet, critics have argued partnerships contain paradoxes that prevent effective regulation or social inclusion. This paper reviews these debates and applies them to climate change policy in developing countries, and especially technology transfer and forest governance. The paper argues that debate about partnerships needs to move from rhetoric to identifying institutional designs that maximize contractual obligations and enhance local deliberation. But enhancing deliberation also implies looking at how partnerships reflect, rather than create, wider norms and advocacy coalitions, and by creating standardized means of collaboration such as free and prior informed consent. Rethinking partnerships in these ways not only accelerates climate change mitigation but also builds local adaptive capacity. Copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. This article is categorized under: Policy and Governance > Governing Climate Change in Communities, Cities, and Regions

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