The chapter presents and discusses how we can conceptualize user involvement in the public sector, as well as users, in very different ways: As consumers, co-producers, lead users or citizens. One important question which is subsequently discussed, is what such different conceptualizations imply for citizenship understood in more traditional terms, i.e. defined by political deliberation and rights. This question is important because conceptualizations of users imply certain ideas about the public sector, state and society, which have political implications as well as implications for our understanding of citizenship. Thus, we need to be aware of what different perspectives of user involvement imply for citizenship and collaborative innovation in the public sector. The chapter is based on a literature study and uses an empirical case as an example to illustrate and discuss differences in democratic implications of different user conceptions. The chapter concludes that we need an increased awareness of how to work with the different user conceptions in collaborative innovation practices, and argues that is important to also include the concept of the welfare state citizen with rights, as none of the other user conceptions are explicit about rights.
Collaborative Governance and Public Innovation in Northern Europe, 2015, p. 47-67