Public management research has in recent years paid increasing attention to the third sector, especially to its role in the provision of public services. Evidence of this is the rising number of publications on the topic, as well as a growing number of sessions and papers on the topic in academic conferences of the EGPA and IRSPM. However, much of the discussion on its role is motivated at least as much by ideology as by fact. We still lack a proper empirical understanding of what happens when the third sector is drawn into public service provision. In this thematic presentation of Co-Production: The Third Sector and the Delivery of Public Services, we will try to enhance this understanding by presenting several new studies on the subject. We also introduce the concepts of co-production, co-management and co-governance as a conceptual framework that enables us to better understand such developments.
1. Introduction 2. Co-Production in European Childcare 3. Co-Production in Canadian Childcare 4. Co-Management in Public Service Provision: The Organizational Effects 5. Network Governance and the For-Profit/Nonprofit Divide: A Cross-Cultural Perspective on Organizational Fields in Domiciliary Eldercare 6. The Emergence of Local Nonprofit-Government Partnerships and the Role of Intermediary Organizations in Japan 7. A Comparative Analysis of the Different Forms of Financing Collective Childcare Services in Eight European Countries 8. Co-Production Reconsidered: Nostalgia or the Wave of the Future?