University of Edinburgh Business School
Call for Papers: The 4th PUBSIC Conference, 23–25 January 2019
April 6, 2018

The 4th PUBSIC (Innovation in Public Services and Public Policy) Conference will take place lunchtime to lunchtime on 23–25 January 2019, hosted by the Bocconi University, Milan.

Innovation is often articulated as a panacea for addressing social and economic problems in the modern world. However the models of innovation that are posed in this context both have often drawn from private sector experience in an undifferentiated way that conflates the manufacturing of products with the delivery of services, and have not taken into account the distinctive characteristics of public rather than private services.

In recent years this has begun to evolve, with an important body of knowledge on public service delivery emerging – for example, there was a special issue of Public Management Review devoted to this topic in 2014 whilst a major research programme of the European Commission on this topic has recently been concluded (LIPSE). Previous PUBSIC Conferences have also taken place in Shanghai, Budapest and Lillehammer over the past four years.


The 4th PUBSIC Conference will take place at Bocconi University in Milan from lunchtime on 23 January to lunchtime 25 January 2019.

Call for papers

To continue this dialogue and to build upon this evolving body of knowledge we would invite you to participate in the 4th PUBSIC Conference to be held at Bocconi University in beautiful Milan. The city and region are an outstanding venue for this conference with Lombardy at the cutting edge of public services innovation in Italy, whilst Bocconi University is a leading global research university in its own right.

The International Scientific Committee invites paper submissions across the following themes, in the form of a 500 word abstract:

  • The co-creation of value, co-production and public and social innovation
  • Co-design and the role of citizens/service users in public and social innovation
  • Behavioural public administration and social and public innovation
  • The third and non-profit sector and social and public innovation
  • Public innovation and ICT/digital technology (including the use of Big Data)
  • Collaboration and open innovation
  • Social enterprise, social entrepreneurship, and social and public innovation
  • Managing and evaluating public and social innovation
  • Political dimensions of innovation
  • Innovation in public policy and in public policy processes
  • The ‘dark side’ of public service innovation
  • Public – private partnerships and public and social innovation
  • The governance of risk in public service innovation.


Paper abstracts should be submitted by email to by 20 June 2018. They will be reviewed by the International Scientific Committee and decisions notified to authors by 15 July 2018.

Papers are welcome from both experienced and new/doctoral students and of both an empirical and theoretical nature.

International Scientific Committee

  • Greta Nasi [Co-Chair] (Bocconi University, Milan)
  • Stephen P Osborne [Co-Chair] (University of Edinburgh)
  • Sandford Borins (University of Toronto)
  • Taco Brandsen (Nijmegen University)
  • Graeme Currie (University of Warwick)
  • Ricardo Gomes (University of Brasilia)
  • Russ Glennon (Nottingham Trent University)
  • Gyorgy Hajnal (Corvinus University, Budapest)
  • Brian Head (University of Queensland)
  • Per Laegreid (University of Bergen)
  • Albert Meijers (Utrecht University)
  • Toshihito Ishihara (Kwansei Gakuin University)
  • Yijia Jing (Fudan University)
  • Rolf Ronning (Norway Inland University of Applied Sciences)
  • Eva Sorenson (Roskilde University)
  • Jari Stenvall (University of Tampere)
  • Isabel Vidal (University of Barcelona)
  • Richard Walker (City University of Hong Kong)

For further information on PUBSIC contact either Stephen P Osborne ( or Greta Nasi (