Modern Municipalities: The Changing Role of Local Government and Local Democracy in Sweden
2014 (English)In: NOPSA 2014, XVII Nordic Political Science Congress: Kommunale reformer og organisatorisk tilpasninger – utfordringer for lokalpolitikken, Göteborg: Göteborgs universitet, 2014Conference paper (Refereed)
In this paper we describe the development of Swedish municipalities – we trace the origin of the modern municipality to the late 19th century to today with a special focus on the last 40-50 years of development – through four different theoretical lenses (ideal types): (1), The municipality as a common (communitarian) that focuses on common interests and challenges in the local social and political order. (2), The state integrated municipality that focuses on the implementation of national welfare functions, the role of the municipality and the steering and control efforts of the nation-state. (3), The market oriented municipality that focuses freedom of choice reform and that public activities should be put on the market according to the belief that competition is the most important motor of public economy. (4), The coordinating and facilitating municipality that focuses on how to mobilize and integrate different types of resources across borders within the public sector and between public and private institutions. By using the different theoretical perspectives it is shown that the development of local politics and democracy is driven by different ideas. Experiences from reforms, which are related to these ideas, are presented. The article concludes by pointing out some important challenges and potential pathways for future development of local democracy in Sweden.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Göteborg: Göteborgs universitet, 2014.
Public Administration Studies
Research subject Political Science
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-33862OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kau-33862DiVA: diva2:750893
Nordic Political Science Congress 12-15 August 2014 Göteborg