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Understanding, Analysing and Addressing Conflicts in Co-production

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The Palgrave Handbook of Co-Production of Public Services and Outcomes

Abstract

Co-production is suited for problems where consensus is low, uncertainty high and joint action is needed. We focus on conflicts in decision co-production and argue that conflicts arise primarily from tensions between three intertwined elements: differences in values, knowledge and preferences of stakeholders; uneven distribution of resources, status and power; and, divergent expectations about outcomes. Managing conflicts constructively in co-production is far from simple. We identify critical issues that need to be taken into account to address conflicts, including understanding divergent and convergent stakeholder views; identifying power dynamics in problem and solution framing; translating different views into technical-policy options; and reaching compromise solutions. We also outline an evaluation framework with criteria to anticipate, surface and address conflicts and we conclude by suggesting pathways for future research.

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Acknowledgements

Anna Scolobig’s contribution was in part supported by the PHUSICOS project (EU H2020 research and innovation programme grant agreement No. 776681). The landslide risk mitigation casework was supported by the European Community’s Seventh Framework Programme through the grant to the budget of the SafeLand Project, Grant agreement: 226479. The LIVES project casework was funded by the Nomis Foundation and the MAVA Foundation, and conducted in partnership with the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF).

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Correspondence to Anna Scolobig .

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Scolobig, A., Gallagher, L. (2021). Understanding, Analysing and Addressing Conflicts in Co-production. In: Loeffler, E., Bovaird, T. (eds) The Palgrave Handbook of Co-Production of Public Services and Outcomes. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-53705-0_32

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