Governance and Political Entrepreneurship in Europe
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Governance and Political Entrepreneurship in Europe

Promoting Growth and Welfare in Times of Crisis

Edited by Charlie Karlsson, Charlotte Silander and Daniel Silander

The economic crisis has had severe and negative impacts on the EU over the last decade. This book focuses on a neglected dimension by examining European political entrepreneurship in times of economic crisis with particular emphasis on EU member-states, institutions and policies. The main focus is on the role that the political entrepreneur can play in promoting entrepreneurship and growth. It is argued that the political entrepreneur and political entrepreneurship can positively influence the conditions for entrepreneurial activity and business.
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Chapter 11: The legitimacy of political entrepreneurs in networks: lessons from local development projects in Swedish municipalities

Albin Olausson and Elin Wihlborg

Abstract

This chapter focuses on the legitimacy of political entrepreneurs in Swedish local development projects. The main focus is to explore how civil servants in Swedish municipalities act as political entrepreneurs and whether they succeed or fail in gaining legitimacy in the municipal setting. The authors argue that successful political entrepreneurship is based on legitimacy and that networks are crucial for gaining legitimacy. Political entrepreneurs may receive legitimacy from stakeholders within networks through collaboration and trust. However, they also argue that such informal legitimacy must be complemented by formal legitimacy as inputs to projects. As a result, local political entrepreneurs are not always successful in their endeavours and are not always perceived as legitimate, which becomes a hindrance for implementing local and regional policies for growth and sustainable development.

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