Changing the nature of transactions between local state and citizens: an experiment to encourage civic behaviour

Sarah Cotterill, Liz Richardson

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

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    One of the impacts of increased global information flows has been increased expectations of citizens and consumers for flexible and speedy transactions. Over the last 20 years public service providers have attempted to adapt partly in response to these trends. However, one consequence has been to shape the relationship between people and public services as a predominately consumer relationship, with opportunities for co-production and citizenship increasingly lost. This paper reports on a recent experiment to investigate effective ways to encourage civic behaviour. The aim was to transform a passive one-way transactional relationship between consumer and provider into a more active two way co-production relationship. The experiment identifies how local authority staff can encourage callers to a contact centre to get involved in neighbourhood activity. We pioneer a new type of evaluation - design experiments - which share some features of action research and of experiments. In the empirical research we shape how the institution responds to citizens to test whether more civic behaviour can be generated. We present preliminary findings from the design experiment: what was the impact on civic behaviour? How did citizens perceive the motivations behind the intervention and did this affect the response to the intervention?
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationhost publication
    Publication statusPublished - 2009
    EventPolitical Studies Association conference - Manchester
    Duration: 1 Jan 1824 → …


    ConferencePolitical Studies Association conference
    Period1/01/24 → …


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