This article seeks to challenge understandings of partnership in order to reframe the discussion of common problems of partnership working. The very term partnership has become so common as to have no clear meaning beyond being a ‘nice’ alternative to long tried and tested forms of governance. Yet failing to understand the complexities that are inherent in the very nature of partnership poses serious dilemmas for those engaged in such schemes. Addressing the key dilemmas identified in studies of a number of regeneration partnerships, this article suggests the need to understand the dynamics of partnerships in the context of extant forms of governance. In so doing, it suggests the possibility of overcoming old dilemmas, if only to confront new ones.
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