The Rise of Common Political Order
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The Rise of Common Political Order

Institutions, Public Administration and Transnational Space

Edited by Jarle Trondal

The Rise of Common Political Order brings together leading research focusing on the conditions for the formation of common political order in Europe. The book aims to define common political order in conceptual terms, to study instances of order formation at different levels of governance and ultimately to comprehend how they profoundly challenge inherent political orders.
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Chapter 10: Democratic effects of inter-municipal cooperation: equal effects for all?

Dag Ingvar Jacobsen


Chapter 10 examines if the rise of new politico-administrative institutions may challenge and influence pre-existing institutions. During the 1980s, one could observe an emerging trend of inter-municipal cooperation all over Europe. To compensate for lack of size, municipalities erected cooperative arrangements, combining the resources of two or more municipalities to provide a service or solve a problem. This trend has continued, arguably with increasing strength. This chapter first defines different forms of inter-municipal cooperation and links them to their autonomy from their respective participants. Second, the chapter empirically analyzes a critical case: political cooperation between Norwegian municipalities organized in a ‘new’ and formalized organizational entity. The chapter ends with a discussion of findings. One observation made is that regional councils in Norway are only to a minor degree perceived as being democratic threats. But, this general picture must arguably be nuanced. The main reason for this is that it is often assumed, implicitly, that municipalities engaging in inter-municipal cooperation are similar.

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