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Citizens and co-production of welfare services


  • Victor Pestoff


A growing number of scholars question the sustainability of liberal representative democracy and a welfare state dominated by the big organizations in both the public and private sectors. The state is over extended and democracy is stretched to its limits. Walzer proposes to democratize the means of distributing welfare services by greater citizen involvement, while Hirst calls for devolving many of the functions of the state to civil society. However, missing from such macro proposals is a micro perspective of citizens co-producers. The first part of this presentation introduces the concept of co-production, with a focus on greater citizen participation in the provision of public services. A review of the literature demonstrates several advantages of co-production, but also some major hurdles. The second part ties the concept of co-production to a discussion of parents' participation in the provision of childcare services in Europe. Finally, the importance of co-production for promoting the development and renewal of democracy and the welfare state is discussed.

Suggested Citation

  • Victor Pestoff, 2006. "Citizens and co-production of welfare services," Public Management Review, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 8(4), pages 503-519, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:pubmgr:v:8:y:2006:i:4:p:503-519
    DOI: 10.1080/14719030601022882

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    Cited by:

    1. Svetlana Suslova, 2016. "Collective Co-Production in Russian Schools," Educational Studies, Higher School of Economics, issue 4, pages 144-162.
    2. McMullin, Caitlin, 2018. "Co-production and the third sector: A comparative study of England and France," Thesis Commons 578d3, Center for Open Science.
    3. Jari Stenvall & Petri Virtanen, 2017. "Intelligent Public Organisations," Public Organization Review, Springer, vol. 17(2), pages 195-209, June.
    4. Lorenzo Dorigo & Giuseppe Marcon, 2014. "A caring interpretation of stakeholder management for the social enterprise. Evidence from a regional survey of micro social cooperatives in the Italian welfare mix," Working Papers 01, Department of Management, Università Ca' Foscari Venezia.
    5. Nathalie Brender & Bledi Yzeiraj & Florian Dupuy, 2017. "Risk and accountability: Drivers for change in network governance. The case of school restaurants governance in a Swiss city," Cogent Business & Management, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 4(1), pages 1384636-138, January.
    6. Mary S. Mangai & Michiel S. Vries, 2019. "You Just Have to Ask Coproduction of Primary Healthcare in Ghana and Nigeria," Public Organization Review, Springer, vol. 19(2), pages 273-291, June.
    7. Alford, 2014. "The Multiple Facets of Co-Production: Building on the work of Elinor Ostrom," Public Management Review, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 16(3), pages 299-316, April.
    8. Douglas Martin, 2018. "Lean in a cold fiscal climate: the public sector in an age of reduced resources," Public Money & Management, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 38(1), pages 29-36, January.
    9. Piervito Bianchi & Giulio Mario Cappelletti & Elisabetta Mafrolla & Edgardo Sica & Roberta Sisto, 2020. "Accessible Tourism in Natural Park Areas: A Social Network Analysis to Discard Barriers and Provide Information for People with Disabilities," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 12(23), pages 1-1, November.

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