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  • Author or Editor: Jacob Torfing x
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Scale is an overlooked issue in the research on interactive governance. This book takes up the important task of investigating the scalar dimensions of collaborative governance in networks, partnerships, and other interactive arenas and explores the challenges of operating at a single scale, across or at multiple scales and of moving between scales.

First published as a special issue of Policy & Politics, the volume explores the role of scale and scaling in a wide range of policy areas, including employment policy, water management, transportation planning, public health, university governance, artistic markets, child welfare and humanitarian relief. Cases are drawn from Asia, Australia, Europe, and North and South America and span all levels from local to global. Together, the theoretical framework and the empirical case studies sensitize us to the tensions that arise between scales of governance and to the challenges of shifting from one scale of governance to another.

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Scale is an overlooked issue in the literature on interactive governance. This special issue investigates the challenges posed by the scale and scaling of network and collaborative forms of governance. Our original motivation arose from a concern about whether collaborative governance can scale up. As we learned more, our inquiry expanded to include the tensions inherent in collaboration across scales or at multiple scales and the issue of dynamically scaling collaboration to adapt to changing problems and demands. The diverse cases in this special issue explore these challenges in a range of concrete empirical domains than span the globe.

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This article has three objectives. The first is to show that while co-production was originally tied to service production, co-creation has broader applications in the field of public governance and involves a broader range of actors and activities. The second objective is to demonstrate how the co-creation concept both builds on and extends the concept of collaborative governance, thus adding new dimensions to an already well-established literature. The final objective is to show how a strategic turn to co-creation introduces a new type of ‘generative governance’ aimed at solving complex problems by constructing platforms enabling the formation of arenas for co-creation that bring together a plethora of public and private actors, including citizens, in creative problem-solving processes. The three objectives are achieved through prospective theoretical analysis aimed at providing a conceptual foundation for analysing cutting-edge societal developments that are not yet commonplace.

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This book investigates the challenges posed by the scale and scaling of network and collaborative forms of governance. Our original motivation arose from a concern about whether collaborative governance can scale up. As we learned more, our inquiry expanded to include the tensions inherent in collaboration across scales or at multiple scales and the issue of dynamically scaling collaboration to adapt to changing problems and demands. The diverse cases in this special issue explore these challenges in a range of concrete empirical domains than span the globe.

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This study reports the findings from an interactive research project in which academics and practitioners worked closely together in designing a new, criteria-based assessment tool that enables local municipalities to measure the degree of collaboration, innovation and crime-preventive effect in publicly financed projects intended to keep at-risk youth out of criminal activities. The assessment tool also offers a much-needed opportunity for researchers to study the extent to which cross-boundary collaboration may spur the development of innovative solutions, which in turn may help to prevent youth crime. The key empirical finding is that collaboration has a strong association with public innovation, which in turn has a strong association with the ability of local projects to help prevent crime. The result makes an important contribution to the expanding field of public innovation research in which quantitative studies that combine process evaluation and impact studies are extremely rare.

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We offer a fresh perspective on implementation problems by suggesting that collaborative policy design and adaptive policy implementation will help public policy makers to improve policy execution. Classical implementation theories have focused too narrowly on administrative stumbling blocks and New Public Management has reinforced the split between politics and administration. Attempts to improve policy implementation must begin by looking at policy design, which can be improved through collaboration and deliberation between upstream and downstream actors. We provide a broad overview of how collaborative policymaking and adaptive policy implementation might work in theory and practice.

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The expansion of the scope and significance of co-creation in public policy and governance prompts the integration of different theoretical strands that together can help us illuminating the antecedent conditions, the processes of multi-actor collaboration, the creation of innovative solutions, and the assessment of their public value. Exploring the affinities and complementarities of relevant perspectives such as theories of co-creation, public value management, public innovation, collaborative governance, network governance, strategic management and digital era governance may foster a more comprehensive framework for studying the co-creation of public value outcomes such as needs-based services, effective governance and democratic legitimacy. This introduction seeks to explain why we must transform the public sector in order to spur co-creation, how strategic management and digital platforms can support this transformation, and why we must bring together and synthesize different bodies of theory when studying the complex processes of co-creation and their drivers, barriers and outcomes.

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