The rise of citizens’ initiatives is changing the relation between governments and citizens. This paper contributes to the discussion of how governments can productively relate to these self-organizing citizens. The study analyzes the relation between the social production of invited spaces and the invitational character of such spaces, as perceived by governments and citizens. Invited spaces are the (institutional, legal, organizational, political and policy) spaces that are created by governments for citizens to take on initiatives to create public value. We characterize four types of invited spaces and compare four cases in Dutch planning to analyze how these types of invited spaces are perceived as invitational. From the analysis, we draw specific lessons for governments that want to stimulate citizens’ initiatives. We conclude with a general insight for public administration scholars; in addition to formal rules and structures, scholars should pay more attention to interactions, attitudes and meaning making of both government officials and citizens.

Citizens’ initiatives, Invitational governance, Invited space, Self-organization,
Voluntas: international journal of voluntary and non-profit organizations
Department of Sociology

Visser, V. (Vivian), van Popering-Verkerk, J, & van Buuren, M.W. (2021). The Social Production of Invited Spaces: Toward an Understanding of the Invitational Character of Spaces for Citizens’ Initiatives. Voluntas: international journal of voluntary and non-profit organizations. doi:10.1007/s11266-020-00310-w