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Local and Regional Governance in Europe
Evidence from Nordic Regions
The European political landscape is one of constant flux and it is this alternating integration and disintegration which influences the basic conditions in which political power is exercised. This book argues that the interests of the cities and regions of Europe are increasingly influenced by European supranational institutions rather than the nation state and that governance in Europe is shifting to a regional and local level.
This shift of influence implies potential for economic development and new political strategies, but also poses a serious threat to national identity and the traditional sovereignty of the state. Focusing on processes of internationalisation and regionalisation, the book discerns fascinating peculiarities in the Nordic response to a radically changing environment. The authors take a comparative approach to four Nordic countries and examine the efforts involved at local and regional level to safeguard interests. Their analysis and conclusions make fascinating reading for students and scholars of government and public policy and for civil servants and policymakers across Europe.
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What Reviewers Are Saying
`. . . this book fills a gap in the existing literature. . . The book can be recommended to anybody interested in understanding local and regional development in the Nordic area and how it relates to international processes, most notably European integration. It focuses on the first half of the 1990s, which might be considered a formative stage in the international orientation of Nordic regions. As such, it gives a valuable background to the emergence of sub-national government bodies in the international arena, which is bound to be an increasingly important issue in the future, not least bearing in mind the coming eastward enlargement of the EU.' -- Bo Svensson, Regional and Federal Studies `Although this book is likely to attract a specialist readership, since it deals with local and regional levels of government in four Nordic countries, it also contributes to a general analysis of sub-national and international identities. The authors provide clear conceptual frameworks for discussing the challenges to protecting and developing autonomy at sub-national level. Issues relating to decentralisation of decision-making within the context of the European Union are well presented.' -- Aslib Book Guide `. . . the strength of this book lies in its treatment of the relationship between "regionalisation" concepts and internationalisation (or Europeanisation to be more accurate). The authors are excellent in their coverage of how local and regional governments have adapted their procedures to take account of the impact of such trends as European integration, and the usage of Putnam/multi-level governance is particularly useful . . . the book is a significant contribution and first-class.' -- Lee Miles, University of Hull, UK