The article focuses on new forms of governance involving partnerships between public and private actors. As several scholars have noticed, organisational hybrids at the intersection of the public and private sectors play an important part in the implementation of collective action. Local economic development in particular has provided a fertile ground for building coalitions across traditional divisions, and encouraging partnerships. This applies to Norway as well as to other liberal Western democracies. Obviously, the formation of partnerships reflects efforts to design more efficient and flexible instruments for founding new firms and for supporting local entrepreneurs. The article, however, raises the question of whether these arrangements may entail a far more expanded role and domain, opening up new channels for participation and mobilisation. By expanding their agenda and integrating new segments of the local community, public–private partnerships appear to be an innovation in local democracy. Analytically, the article utilises elements of regime theory. Although the partnerships studied hardly constitute stable coalitions dominating local politics, they nevertheless illustrate how the building of coalitions including both private and public actors is crucial to coping with the problems and challenges of local restructuring and revitalisation. Case studies carried out in Norwegian municipalities provide the main empirical source. The article does, however, build on experience from other European countries.
Scandinavian Political Studies – Wiley
Published: Mar 1, 2004
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