This article answers the question of why interlocal partnerships are seen as a viable route to effective governance among local elites in Norway. Co-operation between
local governments is often seen as a way of overcoming transaction costs, increasing the quantity and quality of public service delivery — even if it comes at the price of
less transparent local democratic processes. The analysis presented here shows that the legitimacy of interlocal partnerships is not only based on a perception of increased effectiveness in terms of direct policy outputs. Such partnerships are also based on a more general perception of increased decision-making power, specifically in relation to forces exogenous to the regional context in which such co-operation is forged. Nevertheless, the local elites’ perceptions are conditioned by regional and local contexts. The article argues that demography, perceptions of local governance and ideology matter when elites assess the importance of interlocal partnerships.
Forskere: Arild Gjertsen