UPSI Hosts Expert Seminar on the Co-Production of Social Control

Co-production is an increasingly important concept for describing how people from different backgrounds work together to produce a solution to a shared problem. Last week UPSI brought together experts from across the academy, government departments, the police, voluntary sector and industry to examine the state-of-the-art in relation to the co-production of social control. The seminar was sponsored by the ESRC and AHRC as part of their 'Connected Communities' programme. 

The meeting was addressed by Prof. Patrick Carr of Rutgers University who discussed his work as part of the Chicago Alternative Policing Strategy and more latterly the 'stop snitching' movement in Philadelphia. Other presentations examined what can be learnt from looking at how co-production is enacted in other contexts and the variety of ways in which processes of co-production can arise.


The seminar was designed to facilitate a conversation between the policy-making, practitioners and research communities about reform of the criminal justice system. The participants in the seminar identified:


  • The ways in which formal and informal social control articulate with each other is a neglected research area;
  • We need a new language for talking about these new and innovative ways of doing social control;
  • Policy-makers need to think about whether policies can and should 'seed and grow' co-productive working, or actually whether it needs to 'get out of the way' and simply 'create a space' for more organic 'bottom-up' developments;
  • For those engaged in public-facing service delivery, this kind of working requires new practical skills and knowledge.

A full report on the findings from the seminar will be produced in due course. However, two in-depth reports prepared for the seminar can be downloaded by clicking on the links below.