Advancing Co-creation in Local Governance

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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: July 2024 ISBN: 978 1 80220 222 9 Extent: c 240 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 Elgaronline.com.

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
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