Collaborative Governance under Austerity: An Eight-Case Comparative Study

Duration: 04/15 - 07/18

The focus of the project research is how collaboration contributes to the governance of austerity. Governments and public service leaders argue that collaboration with businesses, voluntary organisations and active citizens is essential for addressing the many challenges posed by austerity. The challenges include transforming public services to cope with cuts, changing citizen expectations and managing demand for services and enhancing the legitimacy of difficult policy decisions by involving people outside government in making them.

But at the same time, collaboration can be exclusionary. For example, if there are high levels of protest, governmental and business elites may collaborate in ways that marginalise ordinary citizens to push through unpopular policies. The challenge is to explore different ways in which collaboration works or fails in governing austerity and whether it is becoming more or less important in doing so.

In exploring these issues, Collaborative Governance under Austerity: An Eight-Case Comparative Study aims to learn something about the urban condition in and after austerity, reflecting comparatively on how cities are governed, the role played by citizens and publics and what might have changed through the years of austerity.

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Jonathan Davies (Principal Investigator, Professor of Critical Policy Studies)
Ismael Blanco (Senior Research Fellow)
Ioannis Chorianopoulos (Associate Professor)
Madeleine Claire Pill (Lecturer in Public Policy)
Niamh Gaynor (Lecturer and Researcher in Development Studies)
Brendan Gleeson (Professor of Urban Policy Studies)
Steven Griggs (Professor of Public Policy)
Pierre Hamel (Professor of Urban Planning and Sociology)
Roger Keil (Professor and York Chair in Global Sub-Urban Studies)
David Howarth (Professor, Department of Government)
Helen Sullivan (Foundation Director, Melbourne School of Government)

Multi-stakeholder research in eight case study cities of collaborative governance and partnerships.

Series of public events with policy makers and other stakeholders in each case study city to communicate the research findings.

Engagement of community activists and third sector organisations with research findings through local dissemination events and webinars.

First reflections on ESRC research into collaborative governance under austerity

Governing austerity in Leicester

Barcelona: crisis austerity and socio-political change

Governing austerity in Athens

Governing perma-austerity in Baltimore

Governing austerity in Dublin

Governing austerity in Montreal

Governing austerity in Melbourne

Follow the protest: exploring the limits and torsions of collaborative governance in Nantes

Governing urban crises of welfarism: Reflections from our eight-case international study

Baltimore: Governing two cities in ‘crisis’

Austerity Leicester: Between revitalisation, retrenchment and resistance

Transforming Barcelona’s urban model? Limits and potentials for radical change under a radical left government

The logic and practices of austerity governance in Dublin

Cultural diversity and collaboration in Dandenong, Melbourne

Austerity and grassroots mobilisation in Athens: The emergence of an urban governance divide?

Davies, J. and Blanco, I., ‘Austerity urbanism: Patterns of neo-liberalisation and resistance in six cities of Spain and the UK‘, Environment and Planning A, 10 April 2017.

Bayırbağ, M.K., Davies, J.S. and Münch, S., ‘Interrogating urban crisis: Cities in the governance and contestation of austerity‘, Sage, 17 May 2017.

Governing in and against austerity – project report (English, Greek, French and Spanish)