In last decades the academic and political interest for local collaborative arrangements in the production of goods and services has spread across Italy and abroad. As a consequence, the concept of collaboration has been progressively stretched, hovering amidst social and political practices attributable to diverse empirical objects and theoretical perspectives, such as participatory democracy, public-private partnership, peer to peer relations and sharing economy. Such a success has boosted the appeal of collaborative practices likewise, eventually leading towards institutional isomorphic tendencies and bandwagon effects without taking due account of territorial and administrative contextual features. Drawing upon these premises, and relying on an empirically based public policy approach, the article tries to identify and classify the policy instruments that local governments may use to promote and implement different kinds of collaborative practices, as a starting point to understand the role municipalities may play therein, and to reflect upon the possible shortcomings of their institutional actions.
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