Silvia Cannas and I are delighted to have contributed a chapter to the Palgrave Handbook of Co-Production, edited by my former Birmingham colleague Tony Bovaird and Elke Loffler. The abstract appears below and on SSRN. Unfortunately, Palgrave does not endorse an open access policy that would allow the last working version to be posted.
Despite numerous attempts to define the core traits of co-production, it remains an heterogeneous concept. Building upon the existing literature, we engage in legal reasoning to identify the co-producer, especially in those cases where she does not directly benefit from the service being co-produced. Introducing and relying on the concept of proximity, we argue that co-production should be centered in an administrative citizenship, which associates the residency within a community with a set of rights and duties towards the public administration. Among those obligations, participation in co-production is a pathway toward active citizenship. We justify why co-production can be non-voluntary, or compelled by law to realize public interests. Yet we caution that co-production as a management scheme requires flexibility, and embedding it too strictly within a legal framework can diminish its effectiveness.