Social innovation is increasingly considered as a valid strategy to change public service delivery, due to all kinds of social challenges. Examples are aging, unemployment, and globalization. It presupposes a “game change,” in that it assumes equal partnerships between actors. We argue that whether the game is actually changing varies per country, due to differences in context (coined here as state and governance traditions). In this chapter, we estimate, given different sets of state and governance traditions in four countries, whether social innovation will be the presupposed game changer. We illustrate this estimation with some empirical examples of social innovation. This chapter shows that social innovation is not always the game changer it is supposed to be, due to differences in country context.

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Department of Sociology

Voorberg, W., & Bekkers, V. (2017). Is social innovation a game changer of relationships between citizens and governments?. In The Palgrave Handbook of Public Administration and Management in Europe (pp. 707–725). doi:10.1057/978-1-137-55269-3_37