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Municipal Innovation in Democratic Public Ownership


The previous decade witnessed a wave of innovative approaches to democratic public ownership at the municipal scale. Rather than a paternalistic provider of services, such approaches – diverse in both form and application – variously recast the (local) state in a more facilitatory or partnership role, promoting participatory co-governance and/or co-ownership of resources and assets. This research aims to establish whether such innovations embody a new form of 'prefigurative state thinking' that is fundamentally reworking, and requires new theories of, the relationship between civil society and the state.

The objectives of the research include:
1. To develop an evidence-led typology of municipalist innovations in democratic public ownership
2. To determine (if and) how innovations in public ownership contribute to a ‘feminisation’ and ‘democratisation’ of urban life
3. To provide theoretical understandings of the changing relationship between civil society and the state
4. To identify and elaborate upon evidence-led design principles for feminised and democratised public ownership
5. To return and disseminate results to stakeholders and policy-makers, and pursue policy orientated impact

The project will utilise a qualitative comparative research approach across two phases. The first phase is a secondary analysis of the Transnational Institute's (TNI) 'International Database of De-privatised Public Services', with a focus on developing a) a propositional typology of democratic municipal innovations; and b) identifying exemplar cases for primary research. The second phase will include primary research of exemplar cases, including co-identified cases in the host city. The fellowship includes a 6-month secondment at TNI as an integral part of the research. The fellowship will deliver policy impact in-line with the European Commission’s 2019-2024 priority areas and the UN’s New Urban Agenda commitment to expanding ‘meaningful participation in decision-making'.

Call for proposal

See other projects for this call

Funding Scheme

MSCA-IF-EF-ST - Standard EF


Calle Campus Universitario Sn Cerdanyola V
08290 Cerdanyola Del Valles
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
EU contribution
€ 172 932,48