The politics of coproduction during Latin America’s ‘Pink Tide’: water, housing, and waste in comparative perspective

Geoff Goodwin*, Patrick O'Hare, Miranda Sheild Johansson, Jonathan Alderman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)
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Coproduction brings together a diverse range of state and non-state actors to create and deliver public services. These processes, which occur across the Global South, have been widely studied. However, insufficient critical attention has been paid to their politics. We address this gap in the literature by analysing the politics of coproduction in Latin America during the ‘pink tide’ of the early twenty-first century. Drawing on original qualitative research, this article explores the coproduction of three distinct public services—water, housing, and waste—in three countries where left-leaning presidents and governments were elected into office—Ecuador, Bolivia, and Uruguay. We argue that coproduction is intrinsically political in these three cases; that is, the ‘political’ is internal to, and inherent in, coproduction. Our comparative analysis centres on two political dimensions—subject-making and collective autonomy—and shows that tensions around these two issues were central to coproduction in Ecuador, Bolivia, and Uruguay . The article demonstrates the importance of not treating politics as a mere contextual concern in coproduction analysis and shows that coproduction has the capacity to reshape political relationships and subjectivities. Taking politics into account is essential to understanding the dynamics and potential of coproduction in the Global South. Our comparative analysis also provides new insights into Latin American politics, especially concerning 'pink tide' governments and the provisioning of public services.
Original languageEnglish
Article number105930
Number of pages14
JournalWorld Development
Early online date26 May 2022
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2022


  • Waste
  • Water
  • Housing
  • Co-production
  • Pink Tide
  • Latin America


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