P39 SIG Local Governance: Collaboration of Local Governments and Civil Society

Corresponding chair

Reto Steiner, ZHAW School of Management and Law, CH, Email: reto.steiner@zhaw.ch

Review group chair

Denita Cepiku, University of Rome Tor Vergata, IT.

Panel Chairs

Filippo Giordano, LUMSA, Rome and Bocconi University, IT.

Enrico Guarini, University of Milano-Bicocca, IT.

Sabine Kuhlmann, University of Potsdam, DE.

Carmen Navarro, Universidad Autonóma de Madrid, ES.

Christopher Tapscott, University of Western Cape - School of Government, ZA.


Globally, local authorities are significant players in the provision of public services. The local tier is close to the citizens. Therefore, developments such as societal, economical, technological and ecological changes and challenges have a direct and high impact on what services are needed at the local tier of government, and the way these services are being provided.

Many local governments have increased the engagement of civil society organizations and the private sector in the decision making and in the delivery process as well.

The aim of this panel is to discuss the future of service delivery at the local tier of government with a special emphasis on the role local governments play bringing civil society, private sector, and government together in order to strengthen input and output legitimacy. Do local governments close the gap between citizens, the private sector and governments and increase trust?  Potential topics might include the following:

  • What do citizens, civil society organizations and the private sector expect from their municipalities? Have the expectations changed over time? How can this be measured?
  • What role does civil society and the private sector play in delivering public services?
  • How can citizens and other stakeholders participate in the decision-making process? Do technologies support the inclusion of different stakeholders expectations?
  • How are new technologies changing the government-private sector-citizen interaction?
  • How do municipalities increase trust?
  • How do municipalities interact with different stakeholders and handle heterogenous expectations?
  • Do managerial reforms improve service delivery at the local level?
  • What is the impact of digital transformation on decision making and local service delivery?
  • How can local authorities become more responsive?
  • What services can be made smart and what does this mean for the serv ice delivery?

We invite scholars studying public administration and management at the local tier of government to reflect theoretically and share empirical research. We especially expect papers presenting comparative studies that for example compare local service delivery across different policy fields or tiers of government, organizational contexts or countries. A focus on the contribution of digital transformation on the local tier of government is highly appreciated.