Metagovernance challenges in regional development: A comparison of Sweden, Denmark and Finland
Keywords:Metagovernance, Collaborative governance, Regional development, Regional political leadership, Regional governance
Regional councils collaborate with municipalities, government agencies, universities, non-governmental organisations, and businesses when forming regional development policies in Nordic countries. Political representatives use metagovernance to steer this collaborative process, but previous research shows that politicians often struggle with metagovernance. There are few empirical studies on metagovernance and little is known about how institutional context affects it. This article comparatively explores the political metagovernance of regional development in Sweden, Denmark, and Finland, studying what metagovernance challenges politicians encounter and how institutional contexts shape their perceptions. The study uses survey data from 1006 regional council representatives, which are analysed using a mixed- methods approach. Findings reveal common metagovernance challenges in regional development, but also show the importance of institutional context. The regional councils’ institutional capacity has a clear impact: Danish and Finnish representatives request more formal powers and resources to develop their metagovernance role, while this is less of an issue among Swedish representatives.
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Copyright (c) 2021 Emily Sundqvist
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