Handbook of Democratic Innovation and Governance
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Handbook of Democratic Innovation and Governance

Edited by Stephen Elstub and Oliver Escobar

Democratic innovations are proliferating in politics, governance, policy, and public administration. These new processes of public participation are reimagining the relationship between citizens and institutions. This Handbook advances understanding of democratic innovations, in theory and practice, by critically reviewing their importance throughout the world. The overarching themes are a focus on citizens and their relationship to these innovations, and the resulting effects on political equality. The Handbook therefore offers a definitive overview of existing research on democratic innovations, while also setting the agenda for future research and practice.
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Chapter 4: Collaborative governance: between invited and invented spaces

Sonia Bussu


Ansell and Gash’s (2008) definition of collaborative governance remains widely accepted. Over a decade on there has been much innovation in the field, increasingly incorporating both digital and face-to-face spaces. Hybrid processes are created between invited and invented spaces (Cornwall 2009), which aim to move beyond formal forums, towards a more organic dialogue that happens simultaneously online and offline. This chapter attempts to update Ansell and Gash’s definition in light of these innovations and borrows from the existing literature to build a framework of collaborative governance. We use this framework to analyse three UK-based cases: NHS Citizen, a deliberative system within the NHS; co-production of knowledge between residents and institutions in South Reading; and Participatory City, a new model of coproduction of outcomes based on micro-participation. These new spaces of collaboration inevitably engender conflicts and complex accountability dynamics, as they challenge traditional forms of collaboration between institutions and citizens.

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