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Machines of possibility

Everyone is talking about partnerships: environmental partnerships, social partnerships, public-private partnerships, partnerships between NGOs in Europe and the third world. How did partnerships come to emerge almost everywhere and at almost the same time? What is the inner logic of partnerships? And at what point does that logic begin to break down?

In a highly complex society, the conditions on which agreements are built are constantly changing, demanding, first and foremost, that parties agree to reach an agreement. Partnering is an answer to the growing differentiation and dynamism of the societies in which we live. While this answer holds great potential, however, it is also very fragile. It is the aim of this book to improve our understanding of the shifting ground on which agreements must be reached in today’s hyper-complex society.

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31 Articulating partnerships TWO articulating partnerships An initial path towards a diagnosis of the question of partnership was the concept of partnership as it is used by organisations. This chapter looks at the kind of communication that occurs around partnerships. How do partnerships become possible as the effect of particular semantic articulations of partnerships? Thus, we begin with a semantic analysis of partnerships. In this chapter, therefore, partnership is observed as a particular semantics. Partnerships represent a semantics, that is, a

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Policy and practice

Over the past 10 years partnership working has become a central feature of public services. This book analyses experience of partnerships in different policy fields, identifying the theoretical and practical impediments to making partnership work and critically evaluating the advantages and disadvantages for those involved. Its broad coverage goes beyond the confines of statutory partnerships, addressing other important forms of collaboration between voluntary, private and statutory sectors and service users and community and minority groups.

Through a wide range of perspectives, Partnership working aims to integrate theory and practice across a number of policy areas. Using a variety of models, it:

highlights both positive and negative aspects of partnership working at political, cultural and technical levels;

shows how partnerships can empower people and groups through effective collaboration;

suggests some of the principles on which good practice should be based and the resources required;

addresses key issues of accountability, representation and social exclusion.

The book provides important reading for academics, policy makers, service providers and senior practitioners in community development and community safety, local government, housing, social services and health. It will also be a valuable resource for those working in voluntary organisations and students on professional courses.

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201 TWELVE Partnership in teacher education Trevor Mutton Introduction Partnership in teacher education encompasses differing notions of collaborative working in a range of different contexts but most frequently designates the relationship between providers of initial teacher education (ITE) and the schools with which they work most closely, although similar partnerships might be in place involving schools and universities working together in relation to the continuing professional development (CPD) of teachers. Partnership working has been at the heart of

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The UK government’s reforms of the NHS and public health system require partnerships if they are to succeed. Those partnerships concerned with public health are especially important and are deemed to be a ’good thing’ which add, rather than consume, value. Yet the significant emphasis on partnership working to secure effective policy and service delivery exists despite the evidence testifying to how difficult it is to make partnerships work or achieve results.

Partnership working in public health presents the findings from a detailed study of public health partnerships in England. The lessons from the research are used to explore the government’s changes in public health now being implemented, most of which centre on new partnerships called Health and Wellbeing Boards that have been established to work differently from their predecessors.The book assesses their likely impact and the implications for the future of public health partnerships. Drawing on systems thinking, it argues that partnerships can only succeed if they work in quite different ways. The book will therefore appeal to the public health community and students of health policy.

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97 Partnerships as second‑order contracts SIX Partnerships as second-order contracts The concept of partnership is symptomatic of current new expectations that are put on contracts as form. As illustrated in the introduction to this book, a contract is put under pressure when it is set in the context of cross-sectoral collaboration, collectivity, agreements under developing conditions, project orientation and a focus on the future and visions. A contract is put under pressure when it is no longer perceived as functional in relation to conflict management

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127 Partnerships as second‑order organisations EIGHT Partnerships as second-order organisations Up to this point partnerships have been studied in two different ways: as second-order contracts and as structural coupling. Subsequently we have explored what this means for the character of the partnership as structural coupling between different function systems, and concluded that there are significant differences in the potential of first- and second- order contracts to establish structural couplings. In this chapter we explore the relation between contract

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111 Partnerships as tentative structural coupling SEVEN Partnerships as tentative structural coupling Partnerships have been discussed as a form of contract. Here, the studies are taken one step further and there is a discussion of whether the displacement of the form has consequences for a contract as a structural coupling between function systems. The argument is that partnerships not only presuppose the coupling of a greater number of function systems than traditional contracts, they also change the way in which couplings are established. As mentioned

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Making a difference

Practice research partnerships in social work can make a significant difference to social work service delivery. This comprehensive, accessibly written resource, is designed to help students and practitioners to actively engage with research through their frontline work.

Through clear practice scenarios, critical questions and examples from research the text guides researchers, students, educators, practice managers, funders and practitioners to creatively explore partnerships in creating, contributing, consuming, commissioning or critiquing evidence in and for social work practice. The text encourages collaborative practice by demonstrating the transformative nature of knowledge networks to ‘make a difference’ in social work practice.

An essential text for students undertaking professional training at all levels as well as meeting the needs of qualified staff for continued professional development.

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Transformational Strategic Alliances Towards UN SDGs

Robust university–industry partnerships are vital to achieve the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and create a better world for everyone.

Developing the theory and practice of the ‘5th Generation University’, this book shows how cross-sector collaboration and innovation are crucial to maximising the societal benefits of research, education and knowledge exchange, while also driving economic growth and productivity.

The authors bring extensive experience in working at the interface between academia, industry and government to demonstrate how universities can effectively combine transdisciplinary programmatic activities and strategic corporate philanthropy. They explain how long-term alliances can be forged to have a transformational impact on the greatest challenges facing our world such as climate change.

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