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Tidying Up? 'EU'ropean Regionalisation and the Swedish 'Regional Mess'

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Stegmann McCallion, Malin

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Abstract The regional level of governance has been intensively discussed in Sweden since the 1980s. One of the reasons is that Sweden has an obvious national level of administration and an equally obvious local level of administration (with relatively independent municipalities). However, despite the debates regarding change, the county (regional/meso) administration level actually remained incoherent, meaning that the term ‘regional mess’ is frequently used to describe it. Drawing on empirical work, this article evaluates recent attempts to change regional governance in Sweden that have resulted from domestic and international (and especially ‘EU’ropean) pressures. In particular, the article focuses on the experimental reform at regional level – the development of Regional Pilot Project regions and, subsequently, the Regional Development Councils. It establishes the mix of domestic and European pressures, which produced these changes, and argues that the result has been an exacerbation, rather than a cleaning-up, of the ‘regional mess’.
Classification Area Development Planning, Regional Research; Administrative Science
Document language English
Publication Year 2008
Page/Pages p. 579-592
Journal Regional Studies, 42 (2008) 4
Status Postprint; peer reviewed
Licence PEER Licence Agreement (applicable only to documents from PEER project)