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Governance through Collaboration: New Designs and Platforms for Government-Citizen Relations in Public Policy


Conference venue
: St. Petersburg State University, Russian Federation
Period: June 23 - 24, 2017
Deadline for submitting abstracts: March 15, 2017


Working languages: English and Russian.
Selection of applications: April 1.
Submission of papers for the publication: English - April, 1; Russian - May, 1.
Seminar fee: $50 ; for  students - $20.

Call for papers  for the 18th Research Seminar of the RPSA RC on Comparative Politics, co-sponsored by the - IPSA RC-48 on Administrative Culture. Entitled, "Governance through Collaboration: New Designs and Platforms for Government-Citizen Relations in Public Policy", it will meet on June 23 - 24, 2017, at St. Petersburg State University, Russian Federation

Description of the Conference

Today the process of political and administrative activity becomes saturated with new forms and mechanisms, which include such unusual components for older models, as a public examination, public forums, public-private commissions, etc. There are different names for these new forms of public engagement into policy and decision-making processes. Mark Warren categorizes, for example, many of these developments as “governance-driven democratization”. Some scholars use the term “collaborative governance”.

Paying attention to citizen engagement and participation in public governance, Peter Walker and Patrick Shannon give for this development the name “participatory governance”. A partly independent trend in the modern theory of public governance takes characteristics of new development from the process of community engagement into policy, decision-making, and public service delivery. This direction elaborates the concepts of “governance through community engagement”, “community engaging government” or “integrated public governance”.  In general we can say that the traditional problem of the relationship between politics and governance in these new concepts has been turned in the direction of finding the relationship among citizens and  state institutions. Although questions of cost-effectiveness remain, some new ones come to the fore: the problem of sensitivity and responsibility of government, political stability and the absence of violence, skillful organization (quality control), the rule of law and fighting corruption.

Eligible topics for the conference

Recently, the concepts of ‘co-creation’ and ‘co-production’ have been actively used in political science, public administration, and sociology as an innovation. Initially, this concept has fixed a new attitude to the provision of public services and has been directed against the market-based approach to the organization of this activity. New life has been breathed into this concept by the development of the movement for digital governance. In recent years, the concept of ‘co-production’ has become widely used in the study of public policy in general. Compared with the categories of "collaboration" or "public participation" this concept has expanded understanding of the cycle of public policies affecting the  process of political designs, the governance of public policies, the joint formulation and implementation of public values and others. Co-production is new stance for democratic public policy in the world of uncertainty and complexity. The proposed meeting of the seminar is focused on the presentation of research materials relating to ‘governance through collaboration,’ ‘co-creation’, and ‘co-production’ of public policy, not only in the above aspects of the theme, but also in relation to the effect of collaboration on public policy, which would have corresponded with sustainable and inclusive development. The collaborative and co-productive orientations in public policy mean:

  • Policy design with a focus on the citizens, rather than the office;
  • Collaboration in public policy process rather than making agreement; expanding public arenas for collaboration;
  • Paying attention to the deliberation on public values and real needs; governing  by shared judgments rather than by norms;
  • Taking into account the real context of life of  public policy stakeholders (their desires, space and time);
  • Contextualizing the public policy process instead of fitting to type;
  • Ensuring transparency, citizen-generated data and Internet resources for public policy.

In this regard, the conference welcomes reports describing the best practices of the implementation of collaboration in public policy in different cultural contexts, and the relationship between the concepts of ‘co-creation’ and ‘co-production’ and "inclusive innovation" in the description of public policy in new developing economies.  Also the conference will consider the issue of sustainable development based on social investment  policy. What is the role of collaboration in social investment policy  for tackling the social exclusion of individuals and communities and for investment in the human capital of citizens, especially the most disadvantaged? Rather than simply replicating specific ‘co-production practices,’ the promotion of co-production rests on some more structural changes to policy design, budgeting, control  devolved to citizens and professionals, support for civic society and mutual help, performance regimes, mutual learning, and professional training and culture. The seminar welcomes  reports describing innovative processes of collaboration in policy design, the structure and organization of public policy, public governance in different fields of policies in individual countries and in a comparative perspective.

Keynote speakers:

  • Bucken-Knapp Gregg - School of Public Administration & Centre for Global Migration, University of Gothenburg, Sweden
  • Lewis Jeremy - Huntingdon College, USA
  • Yakimets Vladimir - Institute for Information Transfer Problems of RAS, Russia


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