In central areas of services of general interest, remunicipalisation is currently being discussed. However, this no longer means a mere return to the state. In the meantime, new forms of governance have emerged that also involve citizens in public enterprises. For the workers’ side, new possibilities for cooperation are emerging here, which will be explored in the project. The guiding research questions are:

  • What are the consequences of civic participation for the workers’ side?
  • In what ways can citizens be involved?
  • To what extent could new opportunities for cooperation – but also conflicts of interest – arise from this?

The project addresses the diversity of civic stakeholders by considering different civic roles such as client, co-designer, commissioner and controller. For this purpose, the project team is working on a catalogue of different forms of participation, which shows the starting points for the employees. The research focuses on six public energy and water companies from Germany and France that are considered best practice in their respective fields. In Germany, these are Stadtwerke Norderstedt, Berliner Wasserbetriebe, Stadtwerke Wolfhagen and Stadtwerke Jena, and in France, Eau de Paris and Grenoble Wasserbetriebe.

This case study approach is complemented by a nationwide survey of workers’ representatives on civic participation.

Duration: 05/2015 – 05/2017
Client: Hans-Böckler-Stiftung
Team: Dr. Carsten Herzberg (Project manager), Dr. Thomas Blanchet