chapter  11
13 Pages

Collaboration and trust

Expanding the concept of ruling relations
WithSiri Yde Aksnes, Nina Olsvold

In Norway, disappointing outcomes of activation programmes over time has instigated a move towards an “opening up” of activation services, from a sector-based service to a more joined-up approach with increased inter-organizational collaboration. One example of this turn is the “Ripples in the Water” project (RiW), initiated by the main employers’ federation in Norway. In RiW, private enterprises and vocational rehabilitation enterprises work together to promote labour market inclusion for people with support needs. Job agents coordinate the collaboration processes and function as mediators between the actors. In this chapter, we describe the puzzles we experienced when trying to analyse how the job agents’ work was coordinated within relations of ruling. We argue that IE studies tend to emphasize the coordinative and restrictive aspects of “ruling relations” rather than the enabling and innovative aspects. This chapter aims to broaden the notion of ruling relations by introducing ideas and concepts from literature on governance and co-production.