This article argues for a fuller and more integrated application of coproduction theory into explanations for social and voluntary sector activity around the globe. Coproduction also has potential value for understanding some aspects of an emerging and somewhat turbulent Chinese nonprofit sector. This article uses a literature review of voluntary sector theories to first offer three reasons for more emphasis on coproduction research to explain social sector behavior: its consumer- and systems-oriented perspective, its emphasis on citizen initiative, and its temporal flexibility. We then demonstrate the value of the coproduction theory for Chinese governance by employing a systematic literature review of Chinese coproduction and related collaboration scholarship. The articles produced, although quite limited in number, offer promising examples of all three of these ways in which the concept of coproduction has been used to date in Chinese contexts. We conclude with some suggestions for future China-oriented research to better integrate coproduction theory into voluntary sector theories.
- voluntary sector