Collaboration in Public Service Delivery
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Collaboration in Public Service Delivery

Promise and Pitfalls

Edited by Anka Kekez, Michael Howlett and M Ramesh

The growing intensity and complexity of public service has spurred policy reform efforts across the globe, many featuring attempts to promote more collaborative government. Collaboration in Public Service Delivery sheds light on these efforts, analysing and reconceptualising the major types of collaboration in public service delivery through a governance lens.
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Chapter 12: Problems of captured collaboration: from political to politicized metagovernance

Anka Kekez and Andrija Henjak

Abstract

This chapter explores pathways through which collaborative implementation arrangements might by be used not just for tackling collective problems but also for the advancing particularistic political objectives. By focusing on the metagoverning process through which collaboration-inspired reformist ideas are turned into service delivery practice, the chapter highlights the role executive politicians have in ensuring democratically anchored and effective public services. However, it is argued, if performed by elected officials who are incentivized to engage politicized allocation of public goods and jobs in systems of government where they are not held accountable to citizens for the quality and quantity of services provided, the metagovernance role could be misused. Based on analysis of reform of elderly care services in Croatia, the chapter shows how the metagovernance process could be used by patronage-driven politicians as a route to turn collaborative service provision into opportunities to use state resources for accommodating rent-seeking needs.

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