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In the Green Panopticon: Coproduction as Political Behavior

EasyChair Preprint no. 1012

43 pagesDate: May 25, 2019


From forest fires to terrorism, governments look to citizens to help monitor conditions and report threats, and so aid in the implementation of public policy. This paper casts such coproduction as a political act, arguing that political factors affect the level of citizen participation in policy implementation—especially when coproduction involves citizens monitoring others. Our empirical subject is water conservation in California communities during a severe drought, when the state ordered conservation and established a hotline and a website for citizens to report water waste anonymously. Over the course of the emergency, Californians reported more than 485,000 water waste complaints. We find that governance institutions and partisan conflict strongly predict complaint volume. We also find that complaints positively correlate with conservation outcomes. These results affirm that participatory surveillance can be a potent tool in policy implementation, but also that coproduction can be an extension of political conflict.

Keyphrases: conservation, Coproduction, Drought, environmental policy, participation, participatory surveillance, water

BibTeX entry
BibTeX does not have the right entry for preprints. This is a hack for producing the correct reference:
  author = {Manny Teodoro and Youlang Zhang and David Switzer},
  title = {In the Green Panopticon: Coproduction as Political Behavior},
  howpublished = {EasyChair Preprint no. 1012},

  year = {EasyChair, 2019}}
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