In earlier work, it was suggested that “future research [on co-production] could conceptualize the different types of functions more systematically and assess them on a cross-sectoral and/or cross-national basis” (Pestoff, Osborne and Brandsen, 2006, 594). We took up the challenge and defined the questions presented in the introduction to this volume:

Conceptual issues: What is the nature of co-production, and what different conceptualizations exist, especially in the context of public management?

Empirical issues: How does co-production work in public service delivery in practice? Is it as successful or mundane as some of its proponents have claimed? Given that we know how it works in practice: can co-production contribute to improved quality in the public services?

Comparative issues: How does the practice of co-production differ between countries and sectors?

Methodological issues: What methods and theoretical approaches are most suitable for the examination of the topic?