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The Rise of the Hybrid Domain

Collaborative Governance for Social Innovation

Yuko Aoyama and Balaji Parthasarathy

By conceptualizing the rise of the hybrid domain as an emerging institutional form that overlaps public and private interests, this book explores how corporations, states, and civil society organizations develop common agendas, despite the differences in their primary objectives. Using evidence from India, it examines various cases of social innovation in education, energy, health, and finance, which offer solutions for some of the most pressing social challenges of the twenty-first century.
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Chapter 3: The hybrid domain: bridging the state–market divide

Yuko Aoyama and Balaji Parthasarathy


The debate over governance requires a better incorporation of the shifting assumptions, the blending rationales, and the multiple rescaling that are redefining and shaping the public and the private domains. We observe the rise of the “hybrid domain” as an emerging organizational arrangement with a goal of generating better solutions. Whereas Polanyi (1944) emphasized the “double movement” between state and markets, we propose to conceptually revise the scope of governance to triple movement (state, markets, and civil society), partly to fill the ideological chasm, and partly to fill the governance void that has emerged. The hybrid domain is not just the tensions between state, markets, and civil society, however. It represents an increasingly hybridized logic in economic governance, manifest in growing overlaps, spillovers, and even redundancies across public–private sectoral boundaries in fusing economic and social missions.

The hybrid domain emerges out of the limit of the two-sector model, combined with the need to deliver merit goods under rescaled governance. The hybrid logic in economic governance we observe is neither state-driven nor developed as an outcome of partisan politics and ideologies. The hybrid domain is distinguished by significant bottom-up characteristics, in which stakeholders, initially uncoordinated and disparate, gradually articulate a highly pragmatic, solution-oriented agenda. Stakeholders, who previously were characterized primarily by their public or private interests, or alternatively, their for-profit or non-profit orientations, are coming together to coordinate actions in a manner that is neither state-directed nor administered. The hybrid logic we observe today...

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