The arrival of large numbers of refugees in Germany since 2015 has led to unprecedented levels of civic participation in service delivery. This is supported in integration policy, including through local coordination. We connect this empirical case with the conceptual debate on co-production, adopting an interpretive approach. We explore how volunteers and local coordinators interpret encounters between civic and state actors in the context of co-producing support received by refugee families in gaining access to childcare. Based on 20 interviews, we distinguish three types of experiences: collaborating towards common aims, where both sides value collaboration based on complementary abilities; contesting exclusion, where volunteers confront state actors in cases of conflict; replacing services, where volunteers feel obliged to perform tasks they interpret as the state’s responsibility. Our findings illustrate the value and limitations of co-production in practice, including in relation to establishing adequate sharing of work between civil and state actors

DOI: 10.1332/030557321X16427784089756
ISSN: 0305-5736