Co-Production in the Context of Finnish Social Services and Health Care: A Challenge and a Possibility for a New Kind of Democracy
Rantamäki, N. (2017). Co-Production in the Context of Finnish Social Services and Health Care: A Challenge and a Possibility for a New Kind of Democracy. Voluntas, 28 (1), 248-264. doi:10.1007/s11266-016-9785-1
© International Society for Third-Sector Research and The Johns Hopkins University, 2016. This is a final draft version of an article whose final and definitive form has been published by Springer. Published in this repository with the kind permission of the publisher.
Alongside the ongoing renewal process of the Finnish welfare state, the role of the citizens is also revisited. So far the attention has mainly focused on how the responsibility for service provision is shared between the public sector and the service users, while the role of public services as a part of the democratic system has been more or less ignored. Based on the results from a 3-year participatory action research project called KAMPA, this article will discuss if the development of co-production in the context of public welfare services shows the way forward toward a new kind of society where democracy is an inseparable part of the structures and procedures of the service provision. The data gathered during the project (textual material, interviews, notes from meetings, and observation diaries) are analyzed using thematic analysis. The results show that while legislation and official policies strongly highlight the participation of citizens and service users, there are still many obstacles to overcome at both the attitudinal and practical level. The development of co-production and arenas of a new kind of democracy requires continuity in the attempts and recognition of the achievements, but it also has the potential to demonstrate the way in which a new more lively democratic society can come true in practice. ...