Advancing Co-creation in Local Governance


Advancing Co-creation in Local Governance

The Role of Coping Strategies and Constructive Hybridization

9781802202229 Edward Elgar Publishing
Edited by Asbjørn Røiseland, Professor of Political Science, Oslo Business School, Oslo Metropolitan University - OsloMet and Professor II, NORD University, Norway, Eva Sørensen, Professor of Public Administration and Democracy, Department of Social Sciences and Business, Roskilde University, Denmark and Jacob Torfing, Professor in Politics and Institutions, Department of Social Sciences and Business, Roskilde University, Denmark
Publication Date: 2024 ISBN: 978 1 80220 222 9 Extent: 226 pp
This is an open access title available under the terms of a CC BY-NC 4.0 License. It is free to read, download and share on

This innovative book presents a theoretical framework for understanding co-creation and the ways that public leaders may cope with the conflicts, dilemmas and paradoxes that arise when co-creation clashes with existing governance paradigms, such as old-style bureaucracy and New Public Management.

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This innovative book presents a theoretical framework for understanding co-creation and the ways that public leaders may cope with the conflicts, dilemmas and paradoxes that arise when co-creation clashes with existing governance paradigms, such as old-style bureaucracy and New Public Management.

Chapters identify the relative hostility of public sector environments towards the expansion of co-creation due to their continued commitment to sovereign political leadership, bureaucratic governance and performance management. Contributing authors analyse how these tensions hamper the adoption and functioning of co-creation as a tool of governance and prevent public and private actors benefitting from new ideas and practices. In response, they employ data from Nordic municipalities to provide a classification of strategies that managers in public service organizations may use to cope with these conflicts.

Outlining how new and old forms of public governance can be aligned to reach their full potential, this forward-thinking book will be invaluable to students and scholars of governance and regulation, public administration and management, and public policy. Its practical insights will also be of use to policymakers and practitioners in private consultancy firms interested in collaboration, constructive hybridization, and new developments in public governance.
Critical Acclaim
‘Underlying the core principles of liberal democracies lies an important assumption about the authority of ordinary people to not only consent to be governed, but to make active and lasting contributions to addressing collective problems through “co-creation.” This volume takes an important and nuanced look at the role of co-creation in light of democratic forms of authority, and the essential opportunities needed to ensure effective public, democratic governance for a new age.’
– Christopher Koliba, University of Kansas, US

‘Recent years have seen much emphasis placed on co-creation as one of the most promising approaches to address so-called wicked problems and generate – in the words of the authors – “new and bold public value outcomes”. This book critically acknowledges that such potentials often clash with a variety of obstacles, including resistance by public officials still influenced by the competing demands of old and new public governance paradigms, and the tensions and conflicts that inevitably arise during multi-actor collaborative processes. Even more importantly, the authors offer theoretical insights and practical advice on how these difficulties might be taken into account and managed, for instance through certain institutional design and leadership choices, so that the promises of co-creation will have a higher likelihood to be fulfilled.’
– Benedetta Trivellato, University of Milano-Bicocca, Italy

‘This book contributes to the important discussion on how public officials can engage in co-creation. In linking the analysis of co-creation to the construction of hybrid forms of governance, it makes an important step in the academic debate.’
– Taco Brandsen, Radboud University, the Netherlands

‘The central theme of this book is what Danish public administrator Mette Aagaard provocatively dubs “clash management”. What do you do when the new clashes with the old? Based on illuminating studies of the introduction of co-creation into Norwegian municipalities, this volume reveals how clash management depends on creative coping and constructive hybridization.’
– Christopher Ansell, University of California, Berkeley, US

‘This book makes a great contribution to the advancement of co-creation theory in public administration. Grounding its theorizing in empirical analysis and focussing on co-creation in local governance, it introduces key concepts and enriches the literature with fresh cases from a region of the world that is at the forefront of public sector innovations. It is exactly at this administrative, political, and social level where it is possible to fulfill the promise of co-creation, transitioning it from a marginal practice to becoming a core strategy for public governance and administration.’
– Alessandro Sancino, The Open University, UK and University of Milano-Bicocca, Italy

1.REVIEW COPIES. Please let me know the top 5 specialised journals you would like us to offer review copies to. In addition if there are relevant blogs, online newsletters or websites you think might help promote the book, please include those too.

As mentioned by my college Jacob Torfing in a previous email, most journal do not publish reviews anymore. We have only one good exception (PAR), and at least one journal which might be interested in doing something on a book like ours:

Public Administration Review (Wiley): Publishes book reviews. According to their website: “Anyone interested in submitting a book review or suggesting a book for review should contact Mehmet Akif Demirciogli, Carleton University, Canada ([email protected])”

Public Money & Management (Taylor& Francis): The journal has a series of “New development articles”, which do not contain single book reviews, but sometimes two or three books are discussed and presented in a commentary article. The journal has published many articles on “co-creation” in later years, and apparently this is a topic they aim to make “theirs”…..

2. YOUR NETWORK Please feel free to make any suggestions regarding academic and practitioner associations and networks, including email listservs, we can market the book to. In particular, please list any which regularly post information on newly published books in your field.

This is a type of information exchange which, in our field, has more or less been replaced by social media.

3. SOCIAL MEDIA. Please let us know whether you have a presence on social media in a professional capacity, in order that we can connect with you in our promotions for the book. We can also include video content on the book''s web page and a short discussion or interview explaining the book is an incredibly effective promotional tool. Please consider recording a video discussing your book and sharing this with us.

All the three editors use LnkedIn, and platforms like Researchgate and Academia, and our institutions have active accounts on LinkedIn, X and FB. In addition, most of the single chapter authors are also active on social media. We think the most effective strategy for announcing the book is to let the editors and authors post individual and different posts at e.g. LinkedIn. In addition we will make announcement at our institutions’ social media accounts.

That said, you can notify the editors LinkedIn addresses:

Eva Sørensen:ørensen-b7906521

Jacob Torfing:

Asbjørn Røiseland:ørn-røiseland-34560b246

4. CONFERENCES Please feel free to make any suggestions regarding the relevant academic conferences where your book could be marketed.

The most obvious conferences gathering the potential audience are:

EGPA (European Group of Public Administration) -

ECPR (European Consortium for Political Research):

IRSPM (International Research Society of Public Management):

ASPA (American Society for Public Administration):

NISPAcee (The Network of institutes and schools of Public Administration in Central and Eastern Europe) -

NOPSA (Nordic Political Science Association):

5. USAGE If you are planning to use the book (online or print) in your own course, please let us know the details. If your book could potentially be used as a textbook or supplementary text, for which courses do you feel it might be adopted/recommended, and in which departments and institutions might it be taught?

We will definitely use the book in our teaching, but it is, by now, to early to list the courses.


Preface x
1 What to do when co-creation clashes with old public
governance paradigms? 1
Asbjørn Røiseland, Eva Sørensen and Jacob Torfing
2 Co-creation as public governance: Revisiting the bright
and dark sides 15
Asbjørn Røiseland, Eva Sørensen and Jacob Torfing
3 When co-creation meets the existing governance paradigms 34
Jacob Torfing, Sofie Loklindt Christensen and Eva Sørensen
4 Coping with conflicts, dilemmas and paradoxes through
constructive hybridization 47
Jacob Torfing, Sofie Loklindt Christensen and Eva Sørensen
5 Presentation of cases, methods and contexts 61
Asbjørn Røiseland, Janne Paulsen Breimo, Hege Hofstad
and Trond Vedeld
6 Citizens as clients, customers and partners: Evolving roles
and relationships in co-creation 79
Trond Vedeld and Hege Hofstad
7 Bureaucracy and co-creation: Coping with dilemmas
through institutional design 102
Asbjørn Røiseland and Trond Vedeld
8 Professional rule meets co-creation: Challenges and
coping strategies 119
Janne Paulsen Breimo and Asbjørn Røiseland
9 Managing co-creation and coping with value 135
Asbjørn Røiseland and Janne Paulsen Breimo
10 Co-creation challenges to public leadership: Tensions,
dilemmas and coping mechanisms 150
Hege Hofstad
11 Co-existing systems of performance management:
Conflicts, coping strategies and emergent hybridity 178
Hege Hofstad and Trond Vedeld
12 Embracing co-creation: Next-step challenges for theory
and practice 196
Joop Koppenjan
13 We are navigating clashes – whether we want to or not 207
Mette Aagaard
Index 215
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