Skip to the content

Local political leadership: Nordic style

Goldsmith, MJF and Larsen, H 2004, 'Local political leadership: Nordic style' , International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, 28 (1) , pp. 121-133.

[img] PDF - Published Version
Restricted to Repository staff only

Download (135kB)


    In a context where changes brought about by globalization and Europeanization, and where local governments increasingly operate in a governance mode, different countries place increasing stress on the importance of strong local leadership. This article reviews local political leadership in Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden. Outside of a few major (mainly capital) cities, local government in the Nordic area remains small scale and frequently rural, is strongly partisan, yet relies on a strong tradition of consensual, corporatist style of decision-making. Furthermore, this social democratic consensus places a stress on the continued production and delivery of high quality welfare state services. This domestic environment produces a style of local leadership which is essentially collective in nature and in which the strong mayor concept is alien. The article reviews the experience of local political leadership in the four Nordic countries and concludes that, though there is some small country variation and without many examples of strong mayors, local political leaders play an important role, especially in managing and maintaining the consensual style of politics.

    Item Type: Article
    Themes: Subjects / Themes > D History General and Old World > DL Northern Europe. Scandinavia
    Subjects / Themes > J Political Science > JA Political science (General)
    Subjects / Themes > J Political Science > JS Local government Municipal government
    Memory, Text and Place
    Subjects outside of the University Themes
    Schools: Colleges and Schools > College of Arts & Social Sciences
    Colleges and Schools > College of Arts & Social Sciences
    Colleges and Schools > College of Arts & Social Sciences > School of Humanities, Languages & Social Sciences
    Journal or Publication Title: International Journal of Urban and Regional Research
    Publisher: Blackwell Publishing
    Refereed: Yes
    ISSN: 03091317
    Depositing User: H Kenna
    Date Deposited: 22 Jan 2009 16:56
    Last Modified: 20 Aug 2013 16:53

    Actions (login required)

    Edit record (repository staff only)

    Downloads per month over past year

    View more statistics