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.