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How Should Local Government Be Organised? Reflections from a Swedish Perspective
Linköping University, Department for Studies of Social Change and Culture, Centre for Municipality Studies.
Linköping University, Department of Management and Engineering, Political Science. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
2013 (English)In: Local Government Studies, ISSN 0300-3930, Vol. 39, no 1, 22-46 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Two main arguments are presented in this article. First, when alternatives for the future design of local government are debated, a government needs to address two basic issues simultaneously: (a) how big (and hence how many) municipalities ought the political system have?, and (b) how strong and well secured ought the principle of local self-government be in the constitution? Second, by using these two questions as guides for our analysis, we argue that there are instrumental as well as substantial reasons to guarantee a strong local self-government in the constitution. However, such a reform needs to be complemented by a politically neutral body of regulations that, under given conditions, secures geographically concentrated minorities a right to secede. Although we use the Swedish case as the empirical base for the discussion, our analysis has a bearing on recent developments in, for example, the other Nordic countries and England, where amalgamations at the local level have been on the agenda throughout the past decade.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Taylor and Francis (Routledge) , 2013. Vol. 39, no 1, 22-46 p.
Keyword [en]
Local government, local democracy, local autonomy, municipality structure, vertical diffusion of power
National Category
Social Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-90765DOI: 10.1080/03003930.2012.744967ISI: 000315582200002OAI: diva2:614683
Available from: 2013-04-05 Created: 2013-04-05 Last updated: 2015-01-27

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