Graduation Date

Summer 2020

Document Type



Master of Arts degree with a major in Social Science, Environment and Community

Committee Chair Name

Yvonne Everett

Committee Chair Affiliation

HSU Faculty or Staff

Second Committee Member Name

J Mark Baker

Second Committee Member Affiliation

HSU Faculty or Staff

Third Committee Member Name

John Meyer

Third Committee Member Affiliation

HSU Faculty or Staff

Subject Categories

Environment and Community


Western society’s intractable social and environmental problems arise outside the bounds of classical liberal ideation, challenging the utilitarian rationality, decision-making faculty, and popular legitimacy of our liberal institutions. Through a qualitative analysis of three collaborative, community-based institutions, this study aims to identify and illuminate alternative conceptions and organizational relationships, which transcend liberal shortcomings and succeed precisely where liberal institutions have failed. It draws on Michel Foucault’s account of liberal governance, discourse and subject formation, but employs a complex-systems lens to move from critical deconstruction to intentional normative construction, from radical subjectivism to a collaborative pragmatic realism, and from the critique of liberal governmentality to identifying and supporting alternatives. It concludes that collaborative institutional processes might be employed in the intentional development of unique commonmentalities—collectively organized structures, discourses and subjectivities—that overcome liberal crises by cultivating social, psychological and ecological resilience.

Citation Style