New Public Governance, the Third Sector, and Co-Production: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

New Public Governance, the Third Sector, and Co-Production

1st Edition

Edited by Victor Pestoff, Taco Brandsen, Bram Verschuere


406 pages | 10 B/W Illus.

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In recent years public management research in a variety of disciplines has paid increasing attention to the role of citizens and the third sector in the provision of public services. Several of these efforts have employed the concept of co-production to better understand and explain this trend. This book aims to go further by systematizing the growing body of academic papers and reports that focus on various aspects of co-production and its potential contribution to new public governance. It has an interdisciplinary focus that makes a unique contribution to the body of knowledge in this field, at the cross-roads of a number of disciplines - including business administration, policy studies, political science, public management, sociology, third sector studies, etc. The unique presentation of them together in this volume both allows for comparing and contrasting these different perspectives and for potential theoretical collaboration and development. More particularly, this volume addresses the following concerns: What is the nature of co-production and what challenges does it face? How can we conceptualize the concept of co-production? How does co-production works in practice? How does co-production unfold in reality? What can be the effects of co-production? And more specific, firstly, how can co-production contribute to service quality and service management in public services, and secondly, what is the input of co-production on growing citizen involvement and development of participative democracy?


"This text will serve as a broad reservoir of knowledge on the positive impact of co-production in its various aspects on public management throughout the world." - Dean Eitel, De Paul University, USA

"This is a welcome contribution which helps to theorise the links between co-production, the third sector and types of networked governance, and also to consolidate and broaden the evidence base around why state and third sector organisations should encourage co-production." - Catherine Needham, University of Birmingham, UK

Table of Contents

1. Co-Production as a Maturing Concept Taco Brandsen, Victor Pestoff and Bram Verschuere Part 1: What Is Co-Production? Conceptual and Theoretical Perspectives 2. Co-Production and Third Sector Social Services in Europe: Some Crucial Conceptual Issues Victor Pestoff 3. From Engagement to Co-Production: How Users and Communities Contribute To Public Services Tony Bovaird and Elke Loeffler 4. Co-Production: Contested Meanings and Challenges for User Organizations Benjamin Ewert and Adalbert Evers 5. Third Sector and the Co-Construction of Canadian Public Policy Yves Vaillancourt 6. From Co-Production to Co-Governance John M. Ackerman Part 2: How Does Co-Production Work? 7. Co-Production from a Normative Perspective Edgar S. Cahn and Christine Gray 8. Co-Production and Network Structures in Public Education David O. Porter 9. The Conditions for Successful Co-Production in Housing: A Case Study of German Housing Cooperatives Taco Brandsen and Jan-Kees Helderman 10. Co-Production in an Information Age Albert Meijer Part 3: How Does Co-Management Work? 11. Co-Management to Solve Homelessness: Wicked Solutions for Wicked Problems Kerry Brown, Robyn Keast, Jennifer Waterhouse, Glen Murphy and Myrna Mandell 12. Co-Management in Urban Regeneration: New Perspectives on Transferable Collaborative Practice Hans Schlappa 13. ‘Don’t Bite The Hand That Feeds You?’ On The Partnerships between Private Citizen Initiatives and Local Government Karolien Dezeure and Filip De Rynck 14. Co-Producing Safety or Participative Window Dressing? Regulation Partnerships in German Local Governance Arrangements Matthias Freise 15. The Potential of Nonprofit-Government Partnerships for Promoting Citizen Involvement Ichiro Tsukamoto Part 4: Effects Of Co-Production: Service Quality, Accountability and Democracy 16. Co-Production and Service Quality: A New Perspective for the Swedish Welfare State Johan Vamstad 17. Co-Production: An Alternative to the Partial Privatization Processes in Italy and Norway Andrea Calabrò 18. The Challenges of Co-Management for Public Accountability: Lessons From Flemish Childcare Diederik Vancoppenolle and Bram Verschuere 19. New Public Governance, Co-Production and Third Sector Social Services in Europe: Crowding In and Crowding Out Victor Pestoff 20. Conclusion: Taking Research on Co-Production a Step Further Taco Brandsen, Bram Verschuere and Victor Pestoff

About the Editors

Victor A. Pestoff is Professor Emeritus in Political Science and currently Guest Professor at the Institute for Civil Society Studies at Ersta Skondal University College in Stockholm, Sweden. He has over 35 years of research on the Third Sector, its role in public policy and providing social services. His latest books are A Democratic Architecture for the Welfare State (2009), and together with Taco Brandsen (eds) Co-Production. The Third Sector and the Delivery of Public Services (2008 & 2009), both at Routledge: London & New York.

Taco Brandsen is Associate Professor in Public Administration at the Nijmegen School of Management, Radboud University Nijmegen, the Netherlands. His current research focuses on public services, innovation, governance and civil society. His latest books are Civicness in the Governance and Delivery of Social Services (2010, with Paul Dekker & Adalbert Evers), The Future of Governance in Europe and the US (2010, with Marc Holzer) and Co-Production. The Third Sector and the Delivery of Public Services (Routledge, 2008 & 2009, with Victor Pestoff).

Bram Verschuere is Assistant Professor at the Department of Business and Public Administration of University College Ghent (Ghent University Association), Belgium. His main research and teaching interests are in public management, public sector organization, state-nonprofit relationships, and welfare policy. His latest books are Autonomy and Control of State Agencies: Comparing States and Agencies (2010, with Koen Verhoest, Paul Roness, Kristin Rubecksen and Muiris McCarthaigh), and Re-thinking the State: Critical Perspectives on the Citizen, Politics and Government in the 21st Century (2009, with Filip De Rynck and Ellen Wayenberg).

About the Series

Routledge Critical Studies in Public Management

The study and practice of public management has undergone profound changes across the world. Over the last quarter century, we have seen

  • the increasing criticism of public administration as the over-arching framework for the provision of public services
  • the rise (and critical appraisal) of the ‘New Public Management’ as an emergent paradigm for the provision of public services
  • the transformation of the ‘public sector’ into the cross-sectoral provision of public services
  • the growth of the governance of inter-organizational relationships as an essential element in the provision of public services

In reality these trends have not so much replaced each other as elided or co-existed together – the public policy process has not gone away as a legitimate topic of study, intra-organizational management continues to be essential to the efficient provision of public services, whist the governance of inter-organizational and inter-sectoral relationships is now essential to the effective provision of these services.

This series is dedicated to presenting and critiquing this important body of theory and empirical study. It will publish books that both explore and evaluate the emergent and developing nature of public administration, management and governance (in theory and practice) and examine the relationship with and contribution to the over-arching disciplines of management and organizational sociology. Books in the series will be of interest to academics and researchers in this field, students undertaking advanced studies, and reflective policy makers and practitioners.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Development / Sustainable Development
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Nonprofit Organizations & Charities
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Government & Business