In March 2017, we announced that we were guesteediting a Public Money & Management theme on coproduction, reflecting on the ever-increasing use of the concept in the public sector around the world, particularly in countries that have experienced prolonged austerity and major cutbacks in the public sector, to which co-production potentially seemed at least a partial solution (Bovaird, Flemig, Loeffler, & Osborne, 2017). However, we also suggested that all might not be as it seems—although co-production might be widely espoused by the top management of many public sector organizations, it may be honoured more in the breach than the observance. Moreover, there may be a ‘dark side’ to co-production, for example where it represents simply public care agencies dumping the responsibility for care services onto families, friends and neighbours. Following on from special issues on co-production in both the International Review of Administrative Sciences and Public Management Review, we invited researchers to submit contributions which addressed the potential of co-production, its results to date and reasons for its limited dissemination, even where it was apparently embedded in public sector strategies.
- public sector