France et Angleterre

Ma recherche doctorale était une étude comparative entre la France et l’Angleterre sur les pratiques de co-production des projets communautaires et des services sociaux.

Ma thèse doctorale et quelques articles publiés sont disponibles aux liens ci-dessous.

“Co-production and the third sector: a comparative study of England and France”

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This thesis explores co-production between citizens and third sector professionals (in community regeneration, parents’ organisations, and older people’s services) in Sheffield, England and Lyon, France. I employ an analytical framework of institutional logics to explore how the rules, practices and narratives of the organisations are specific to their contexts and how these shape co-production practices. The study finds that while the Sheffield organisations are characterised by an assimilation of the state, community and market logics, the Lyon organisations demonstrate a blend of a ‘Napoleonic state’ logic, and a ‘local solidarity’ logic. These combinations of logics illuminate two approaches to co-production. In France, co-production is informed by notions of citizenship, solidarity and participative democracy, leading to a greater focus on citizen involvement in organisational governance and influence of rules as an enabler and constraint to co-production. In Sheffield, co-production is seen as a way to improve communities, services and outcomes, and we therefore see more pragmatic attention to co-design and co-delivery activities. This thesis provides an important contribution to co-production theory and practice, by employing institutional theory to demonstrate some of the cultural and contextual subjectivity of co-production, and producing evidence of meso and macro level factors that influence co-production behaviour.

Coproduction and the third sector in France: Governmental traditions and the French conceptualization of participation

Research on coproduction has tended to assume a coherence of conceptualizations of coproduction across borders, and little analysis of the framing and discourse of coproduction in different contexts has been undertaken. In the French language literature on citizen participation and the social and solidarity economy, the term coproduction is little used. This paper investigates the narratives of French academics, public, and third sector actors in order to identify what, if anything, is different about the French context that explains this gap. Drawing on semistructured interviews, I identify four key narratives that distinguish the French conceptualizations of coproduction and the third sector from the dominant English language coproduction literature: (a) a mainstreaming of coproduction as part of organizational purpose in the social and solidarity economy, (b) an emphasis on formalized involvement of citizens in organizational governance, (c) the motivation of citizen empowerment and democracy over cost and efficiency, and (d) the use of the term coconstruction rather than coproduction. I argue that these narratives are shaped by the governmental traditions of France, which emphasize formal rules, hierarchy, representative democracy, and a suspicion of particularistic interests. I conclude by questioning the universality of some of the axioms of coproduction theory in the English language literature.

“The Impact of Societal-Level Institutional Logics on Hybridity: Evidence from Nonprofit Organizations in England and France”

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We examine how societal-level institutional logics impact the way in which hybridity develops in nonprofit organizations using international, comparative and qualitative case studies of community regeneration organizations in England and France. The research applies theoretically based conjectures about types of hybridity to empirical data generated from 20 interviews, document analysis and observation in five nonprofits in the city of Lyon and five in Sheffield. We find that the French nonprofits are ‘blended’ hybrids that integrate state and community institutional logics, while ‘assimilated’ hybrids combining state, community and market logics are found in the English cases. Undertaking contextually situated analysis of institutional logics generates new knowledge on the influences on nonprofits’ rules, practices and narratives, so improving the level of knowledge about, and capacity to manage, this sector.

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