Coordinating for Cohesion in the Public Sector of the Future

ECPR Joint Sessions 2012

ECPR Joint Sessions 2012 at the University of Antwerp

Citizens and Public Service Performance: Demands, Responses and Changing Service Delivery Mechanisms

Oliver James (University of Exeter)
Steven Van de Walle (Erasmus University Rotterdam)

Workshop Summary

The workshop discussion focused on he relationship between citizens’ attitudes and behaviour and the performance of public services. A focus was choice in use of market based provision, use of non-state actors, and of coproduced services. These forms operate alongside or as an alternative to traditional state, bureaucratic or professionalised modes of delivery. Papers examined: the effects of public services on citizens, and especially the role of feedback through citizen pressure on political and managerial service providers on subsequent performance; moves to increase choice and voice about services; satisfaction with services including its meaning and definition, citizen cooperation; citizen choice (and exit) facilitated by market and related methods and how they interact with political voice activity; trade-offs between voice and choice behaviour; personalisation of provision, citizenship and the consumer-citizen model; institutional design for shaping the relationship between citizens and public services.

The workshop contained papers that addressed the questions through theoretical and empirical contributions. Most papers evaluated the empirical implications of theories through clear research designs using quantitative or qualitative methods. Research focused on jurisdictions in several European countries, and included comparative papers. A range of public services were addressed including health, education and welfare. Trends, notably towards reforming political systems for oversight of public services and marketisation, were found to been uneven and structures for public service provision, and discussion of these issues in political systems, remain varied.

List of papers

  • Oliver James & Alice Moseley (University of Exeter) – The Effects of Comparative and Absolute Performance Information on Citizens’ Attitudes and Behaviour
  • Steven Van de Walle (Erasmus University Rotterdam) & Sofie Marien (Leuven University)  – Choice in public services: A multilevel analysis of doctor choice in 23 countries
  • Gregg Van Ryzin (Rutgers University)  – Citizen expectations and government performance: Findings from a survey experiment
  • Carsten Herzberg (University of Potsdam) –  Public Utilities and the Challenge of Democratic Control
  • Catherine Needham (Queen Mary, University of London) – Personalisation of social care services in England: Individual, Group or Collective Co-production?
  • John Curtice (University of Strathclyde) & Oliver Heath (Royal Holloway) – Does Choice Deliver? Public Satisfaction with the Health Service
  • Sebastian Jilke  (Erasmus University Rotterdam) – Choice and equalit: A multilevel test of the relationship between market-oriented reforms and equality in citizens’ switching behaviour
  • Wouter van Dooren  & Hans Echelpoels (University of Antwerp) –  The Value Structure of Good Governance indicators: Product, Process or Regime?
  • Asmus Olsen (University of Copenhagen) – Regression discontinuity designs in public administration: The case of performance measurement research
  • Natalia Letki  (University of  Warsaw) – Generating political legitimacy through contact: institutions and citizen consent
  • Gary Bridge & Deborah Wilson  (University of Bristol) – School choice and social class: a comparison of rational choice and cultural reproduction theories
  • Morten Jakobsen  & Simon Calmar Andersen (Aarhus University) – Coproducing Educational Chances: Evidence from a Randomized Field Experiment
  • Anat Gofen  (Hebrew University of Jerusalem) – Citizens’ entrepreneurial role in service delivery
  • Michael Kenny (Queen Mary, University of London) – Understanding the role of political ideas in the establishment of new ‘policy paradigms’ – the case of ‘neo-liberalism’ and higher education in the UK
  • Stephen Greasley (University of East Anglia) – Political risk and procurement in English local government
  • Kaire Põder  (Tallinn University of Technology) – School choice in Estonia: Mechanism design approach
  • Paula Blomqvist (Uppsala University) – Choice, citizenship and social equality in welfare service provision: the Swedish Case
  • Ines Calzada, Eloisa Del Pino (Institute of Public Goods and Policies – Spanish National Research Council) & Jose M. Diaz-Pulido (Rey Juan Carlos University) – Causes and consequences of bureauphobia
  • Mio Frederiksson, Paula Blomqvist & Ulrika Winblad (Uppsala University) – The trade-off between choice and equity – Swedish policymakers’ arguments when introducing patient choice


This page has been modified on 24 April 2012