‘Don’t Bite The Hand That Feeds You?’ On the Partnerships between Private Citizen Initiatives and Local Government
This chapter examines partnerships between Belgian citizen initiatives and local government in the realm of arrangements for local service delivery in Flanders. We address the following questions: How does local government cope with the private initiatives set up by groups of citizens in several policy domains over time? Do these arrangements evolve into governance in terms of co-management or partnerships? How are these arrangements perceived by the private initiatives from the perspective of their autonomy? To cope with those questions, we merge insights of two theoretical strands in the literature: literature on participation and literature on governance. Despite the undeniable link between the theories on local governance and participation, it seems like these two theorhetical strands of literature “do not talk to each other,” notwithstanding combining the insights from both strands of theory could be very fruitful.