Local government amalgamation reforms are politically demanding ventures because potential benefits are often diffuse and long term, while costs are concentrated and immediate. We investigate the role of national political actors in forming alliances and choosing policy tools in such demanding reform contexts. Empirically, we compare the Danish amalgamation reform, characterised by the use of authoritative government tools and a nationally directed amalgamation process, and the Norwegian reform, which primarily used softer tools that involved substantial autonomy at the local level. Our analysis is built on a rich set of qualitative data. We show that differences in the pro-reform alliances established by the two national governments help explain the different choices of government tools for carrying out the local government reforms. A strong pro-reform alliance, as was the case in Denmark, lent legitimacy to the use of authoritative tools.
- Signy VaboAnne Lise FimreiteKurt Houlberg
About this publication
Financed byDet Norske Forskningsråd
CollaboratorsUniversitet i Oslo og Universitet i Bergen
Published inLocal Government Studies