Collaborative Governance for Social Innovation
What is the hybrid domain? The swelling of the middle that lies between the public and the private domains is a culmination of various institutional experiments and quests for social solutions. The hybrid domain is neither the public nor the private domain. The hybrid domain is not an independent third, fourth, or fifth domain, separated from states and markets. Rather it is an arena where actors from the public and the private sectors, and civil society collaborate and become stakeholders in social innovation. From large MNEs to local start-ups, from state bureaucracies to NGOs, from well-established foundations and newly emerging sources of social finance, to newly formed hybrid organizations and networks, multiple and sometimes overlapping combinations of stakeholders are involved in overcoming outstanding social challenges. Not only are such challenges plentiful in contemporary India, but also in many other contexts, rich and poor.
The hybrid domain is conceptually unique in many respects. For one, unlike Ostrom’s “polycentric governance,” it does not presuppose cohesive norms among actors, nor territorial boundaries for the public (more likely merit) goods being produced. It is comprised of diverse actors from different sectors, with different priorities, norms and cultures, and many have transnational links to technological, social, and financial resources. For another, unlike network governance and Jessop’s heterarchy, which refers to the relativization of power within and across organizations and stakeholders, the hybrid domain is without pre-determined power relations. For example, in a heterarchy, although the state becomes one among...
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