Co-creation as a new form of citizen engagement: Comparing Danish and Dutch experiences at the local government level

Jacob Torfing, Vinitha Siebers

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Citizen engagement is a key component of modern liberal democracy, especially at the local level, it is an important tool for generating political input, securing political support, mobilizing societal resources and finding creative solutions to the problems and challenges that governments face. Currently, we are witnessing an interesting shift in citizen engagement towards viewing citizens as co-creators of local governance, thus recognizing that citizens have both knowledge and resources that may help tackling wicked and unruly problems. Local governments increasingly focus on the design of co-creation processes and search for ways to support and enhance this new form of citizen engagement. To explore how processes of co-creation unfold at the level of local government, this article analyzes and compares a Danish and Dutch case of co-creation with local citizens. The comparative case study identifies the different reasons for initiating co-creation. It analyses the processes and outcomes of co-creation and reflects on the role of institutional design and leadership. The conclusion is that co-creation can be a viable strategy in very different situations if supported by the right design and leadership.
Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Public Management Review
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)187-208
Number of pages22
Publication statusPublished - 2018

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