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  • 1.
    Bergh, Andreas
    et al.
    Lunds universitet, Sweden.
    Erlingsson, Gissur Ó
    Linköping University, Department for Studies of Social Change and Culture, Centre for Municipality Studies – CKS. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
    Gustafsson, Anders
    Jönköping Business School and The Ratio Institute, Sweden.
    Wittberg, Emanuel
    Linköping University, Department of Management and Engineering, The Institute for Analytical Sociology, IAS. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
    Municipally Owned Enterprises as Danger Zones for Corruption?: How Politicians Having Feet in Two Camps May Undermine Conditions for Accountabilit2019In: Public Integrity, ISSN 1099-9922, E-ISSN 1558-0989, Vol. 21, no 3, p. 320-352Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The market-inspired reforms of New Public Management have been particularly pronounced in Swedish local government. Notably, municipally owned enterprises (MOEs) have rapidly grown in numbers. Principal-agent theory gives rise to the hypothesis that the massive introduction of MOEs has impacted negatively on the conditions for accountability in Swedish local government. To study this, social network analysis was employed in mapping networks for 223 MOEs in 11 strategically chosen municipalities, covering a total of 732 politicians. The analysis reveals substantial overlaps between principals (representatives of the ultimate stakeholders, citizens) and agents (the boards of the MOEs). Hence, corporatization of public services seems to imply worrisome entanglements between the politicians who are set to steer, govern, and oversee MOEs on the one hand, and the board members of MOEs on the other. The increasing numbers of MOEs may therefore have adverse effects on accountability in important and growing parts of Swedish local government.

  • 2.
    Erlingsson, Gissur Ó
    et al.
    Linköping University, Department for Studies of Social Change and Culture, Centre for Municipality Studies – CKS. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
    Wittberg, Emanuel
    Linköping University, Department for Studies of Social Change and Culture, Centre for Municipality Studies – CKS. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
    De kommunala bolagen och offentlighetsprincipen2017Report (Other academic)
    Abstract [sv]

    Offentlighetsprincipen beskrivs ofta som en hörnsten i den svenska demokratin. Den innebär bland annat att journalister och medborgare har rätt till tillgång till information om den offentliga verksamheten i stat, kommun och landsting. Den principen tar sig framförallt uttryck i allmänna handlingars offentlighet. Möjligheten att granska makten på det sättet utgör en viktig förutsättning för ansvarsutkrävande, och ansvarsutkrävande är i sin tur en förutsättning för en välfungerande demokrati. Sålunda kan argumenteras, att om offentlighets-principen inte efterföljs, kan det skada demokratins kvalitet.

    Mot den bakgrunden är kommunalt ägda företag av särskilt intresse. År 1995 reformerades möjligheten till insyn i kommunala bolag, så att offentlighetsprincipen också omfattar dem. Lagändringen till trots, har flera studier uppmärksammat hur besvärligt det kan vara för journalister och allmänhet att få ut allmänna handlingar från kommunala bolag. Det är otillfredsställande i ljuset av att kommunala bolag blivit allt fler under perioden 2003–2016, och därigenom fått en ökande betydelse för kommunerna och deras invånare. Att kunna granska offentliga verksamheter som förvaltar stora samhällsvärden är en central förutsättning för ansvarsutkrävande. Det gäller givetvis också verksamheten i kommunalt ägda bolag.

    Emellertid dras huvuddelen av tidigare forskning med ett grundläggande metodologiskt problem. Endast de kommunala bolagen har undersökts. Sålunda görs ingen jämförelse med regelefterlevnaden i kommunal förvaltning. Så, visst, vi vet att kommunala bolag inte är särskilt bra på att följa offentlighetsprincipen. Men vi vet inte om förvaltningar är så mycket bättre.

    I syfte att justera denna skevhet i tidigare forskning, har vi genomfört ett slags ”stresstest”, där vi har begärt ut allmänna handlingar från både kommunala bolag och kommunala förvaltningar. Våra resultat är något överraskande och går delvis emot standardantaganden om sämre tillgänglighet till information om verksamheten i kommunala bolag. Båda driftsformerna tycks nämligen ha ungefär lika stora problem med att uppfylla kriteriet på skyndsam utlämning av det material vi önskade ha: cirka hälften av båda undersökningspopulationerna klarade inte vår måttstock om skyndsamt hanterande av utlämnandet.

    Implikationen av resultaten att man kanske inte enbart ska rikta kritik mot kommunala bolag vad avser öppenhet, insyn och möjlighet till granskning. Givetvis finns förbättringspotential där, det har vi ingen ambition att ifrågasätta. Men kritiken äger större allmängiltighet än så. Trots vackra ord om den svenska offentlighetsprincipen, verkar förvaltningar i praktiken ha brister när det kommer till utlämnande av allmänna handlingar. Rapporten väcker sålunda viktiga och generella frågor om den praktiska och vardagliga efterlevnaden av offentlighetsprincipen.

  • 3.
    Erlingsson, Gissur Ó
    et al.
    Linköping University, Department for Studies of Social Change and Culture, Centre for Municipality Studies – CKS. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
    Wittberg, Emanuel
    Linköping University, The Institute for Analytical Sociology, IAS. Linköping University, Department for Studies of Social Change and Culture, Centre for Municipality Studies – CKS. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
    They Talk the Talk – But Do They Walk the Walk?: On the implementation of Right to Information Legislation in Sweden2018In: Offentlig Förvaltning. Scandinavian Journal of Public Administration, ISSN 2000-8058, E-ISSN 2001-3310, Vol. 22, no 4, p. 3-20Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Transparency is recognized as a crucial condition for accountability, good governance and democracy. As right to information (RTI) laws have spread, it has become crucial to ask whether ambitious legislative frameworks translate to de facto transparency. In this article, we test how well local governments in Sweden – a ‘most likely country’ for implementing RTI laws – comply with its comparatively ambitious Public Access to Information and Secrecy Act. As a side effect, we also gauge if New Public Management reforms, exemplified by increased public ownership of enterprises in local government, imply lessened compliance with RTI legislation. Requesting information from 462 randomly selected public administrations and municipally owned enterprises, counterintuitive findings were observed. Fewer than half of the organizations respected the RTI legislation, and no significant differences were found between the public administrations and publicly owned enterprises. The findings have methodological as well as empirical implications. They highlight the importance of not only studying legislative frameworks – as has frequently been done in previous work – but also of analyzing actual implementation of RTI frameworks in everyday situations. Additionally, the findings demonstrate that problems relating to openness can be observed in low corrupt, mature democracies with strong bureaucratic capacity. Lastly, and contrary to conventional wisdom, the findings indicate that publicly owned corporations do not necessarily imply an ‘accountability deficit’.

  • 4.
    Wadström, Christoffer
    et al.
    Linköping University, Department of Management and Engineering, Energy Systems. Linköping University, Faculty of Science & Engineering.
    Wittberg, Emanuel
    Linköping University, Department of Management and Engineering, The Institute for Analytical Sociology, IAS. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
    Uddin, Gazi Salah
    Linköping University, Department of Management and Engineering, Economics. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
    Jayasekera, Ranadeva
    Trinity Business School, Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland.
    Role of renewable energy on industrial output in Canada2019In: Energy Economics, ISSN 0140-9883, E-ISSN 1873-6181, Vol. 81, p. 626-638Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Several scholars have highlighted the idea that energy consumption in general and consumption of renewable energy (RE) in particular may be a potential driver of economic growth. In this paper, we examine the relationship between RE production and economic activity in Canada between May 1966 and December 2015. By applying quantile causality (Troster, 2018), we adopt a nonlinear approach considering all quantiles of the distribution and analysing monthly data consisting of RE production and the Canadian Industrial Production Index (IPI). We find evidence of a nonlinear relationship in Canada, an important result that widely-used linear models fail to capture. Our main findings imply a unidirectional relationship going from the IPI to RE production, which supports the Conservation hypothesis. The directionality between RE and economic growth is sensitive to the market conditions in Canada.

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