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The Case for Collaboration: A Road Map Based on the Carmelite Project in Israel and Some Lessons for Revitalizing Democracies

PAM, Vol. 9 No. 1, (2004)

The paper elaborates on the importance of collaboration in public
administration and on its meaningful theoretical and practical advantages for modern
societies. Our goal is to present a program on how collaboration can be implemented in
local governance and integrated with the idea of urban democracy. It is argued that
collaboration can and should be fostered as the new managerial and social paradigm in
the years to come which may prove useful to the problematic Middle-East region. The
paper focuses on the local government level and provides a useful map for increasing
citizenship involvement in public projects. Based on a unique experience of citizenry
involvement in one ambitious Israeli project we attempts to develop a broader theoretical
framework on the idea of urban democracy and collaboration with public administration.
We argue that such collaboration is possible and essential, and that it may revitalize
urban democracy and trust among parties of modern society. Moreover, in the context of
the Middle-East and following the end of the war in Iraq we further suggest that
collaboration may have an even greater potential for rebuilding citizens\' trust in
governance and initiating mutual cooperation that crosses feasible and cultural borders.
Finally, the paper summarizes lessons and implications of the specific project in the
context of the more general framework and tries to provide a look into the future of
collaboration and at the vision of better managing local-level and national-level
partnerships in modern as well as developing democracies.

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