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De motsträviga kommunerna: En studie av mellankommunal samverkan på regional nivå
Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013).ORCID iD: 0000-0001-5637-0949
2022 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)Alternative title
The Reluctant Municipalities : A Study of Inter-Municipal Cooperation on a Regional Level (English)
Abstract [en]

The achievement of more cost-effective welfare production and the improvement of investment coordination at the regional level are prominent topics in public debate in Sweden concerning the promotion of Inter-Municipal Cooperation. In 2002, legislation (SFS 2002:34) made it possible to establish an extended ‘Inter-Municipal Cooperation’ through a self-governing regional body (RSO) for the purpose of creating more space for municipalities to act on the regional level. The RSOs delegated authority to this new municipal arrangement from the County Administrative Boards responsible for regional economic development. Formal criteria were established, including that a consensus must be reached among all the municipalities within the region. If one municipality rejects a proposal to establish an Inter-Municipal Cooperation (RSO), the proposal should be delayed, or abandoned altogether. RSOs were established in most of the counties, but in a few there was reluctance from the municipalities. The aim in this thesis is to achieve a deeper understanding of municipal leaders’ reluctance from participating in an Inter-Municipal Cooperation (RSO) and to understand what kind of mechanisms influenced the municipal leaders so as to change their initially critical attitudes to ones of support for Inter-Municipal Cooperation (RSO). The theoretical framework contains of two different logics that derive from Rational Choice (Logic of Consequentiality) on the one hand, and New Institutional Theories (Logic of Appropriateness) on the other. The empirical material consists of interviews with Councilors, including the Chairs and Vice Chairs of the Municipalities’ Executive Committees and the Municipal Directors in seven municipalities from five different counties. The results show that both rational choice and institutional norms are important factors and which have had a considerable impact on municipal leaders’ approaches towards Inter-Municipal Cooperation (RSO). 

Abstract [sv]

Mellankommunal samverkan har länge haft stor aktualitet i den offentliga debatten. Fokus riktas mot samordningsvinster, ökad effektivitet och utökad tillgång till expertis i kommunal verksamhetsproduktion. Under början av 2000-talet förespråkade staten utvidgad mellankommunal samverkan med syftet att kommunala aktörer i högre utsträckning skulle få möjligheter att ansvara för regional utveckling genom att bilda regionala samverkansorgan (RSO). Detta var en möjlighet som de flesta län tog sig an. Ett grundläggande villkor vid bildande av RSO var att det rådde primärkommunal konsensus då varje enskild primärkommun ägde ett absolut veto. Trots flera argument för RSO tog bildande av RSO en krokig väg i vissa län, och i några län bildades heller aldrig något RSO. Denna studie bidrar med en fördjupad förståelse av kommuners motsträvighet till utvidgad mellankommunal samverkan, men även en förståelse av varför kommuner i vissa fall ändrade uppfattning från motsträvighet till stöd för bildande av RSO. Slutsatserna är att både institutionella faktorer och rationellt grundade faktorer måste inkluderas i analysen för att nå en förståelse av kommuners förhållningssätt till mellankommunal samverkan. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Karlstad: Karlstads universitet, 2022. , p. 301
Series
Karlstad University Studies, ISSN 1403-8099 ; 2022:16
Keywords [en]
Municipalities, Inter-Municipal Cooperation, Regions, Institutions, Rational Choice, Institutionalism
Keywords [sv]
Kommuner, Mellankommunal samverkan, Regioner, Institutioner, Rationella val, Institutionell teori
National Category
Political Science
Research subject
Political Science
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-89569ISBN: 978-91-7867-289-9 (print)ISBN: 978-91-7867-300-1 (electronic)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kau-89569DiVA, id: diva2:1653645
Public defence
2022-06-10, Sjöströmsalen 1B 309, Universitetsgatan 2, Karlstad, 13:15 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2022-05-20 Created: 2022-04-22 Last updated: 2022-08-31Bibliographically approved

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