Coalitions Workshop Sydney 15-16 February 2012
The core focus of the DLP is the role of political processes in development and, in particular, the role of developmental leaderships and coalitions. Our aim is to utilise the best research and theoretical insights to guide the best practice, and to use the rich experiences of practitioners to inform theory and comparative understandings.
All the DLP research evidence thus far points to the centrality of developmental coalitions in the politics of policy and institutional innovations and reforms that support sustainable growth, political stability and inclusive social development. Moreover, the formation of such coalitions appears to be a critical political mechanism for solving collective action problems. Whether formal or informal, long-lasting or transient, national or sub-national, sectoral or issue-based; whether amongst or across organizations of civil society or those of the state; whether in democratic or authoritarian polities, coalitions of groups and organizations are always to be found.
This is hardly surprising. Understood simply as groups and organizations that come together to achieve social, political or economic goals that they would not be able to achieve on their own, the formation of coalitions is part and parcel of the everyday politics in all organizations and societies and should be central to our understanding of change.
Yet despite a potentially huge range of empirical evidence and examples, our understanding of how coalitions are formed, managed and funded, and what makes for successful coalitions, remains remarkably limited. The purpose of the workshop is therefore to deepen our understanding of these crucial developmental political processes, to help classify different forms of coalitions, to derive significant policy and programmatic messages and to formulate operational guidelines for the international community, governments and others about how to broker, facilitate and support progressive developmental coalitions across sectors and issues areas.
The workshop will draw on the rich experience and thinking of its participants – a mix of distinguished researchers and practitioners who have studied, formed or managed different kinds of coalition in a variety of institutional and political contexts, including Nigeria, the Philippines, Myanmar, Latin America, Australia, Indonesia and California.