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date: 17 November 2017

Abstract and Keywords

The Danish local government balances between self-government and central control. On the one hand, Denmark has a tradition of strong local government and on the other hand, Denmark has a tradition of central government control and interference in local affairs. This article focuses on the uneasy balance between local government and local democracy as an implementing agency in the central government. It discusses the historical background of the current system by tracing the emergence of tension between local and central government during the era of the absolutist royal rule. The article also discusses the present local government system. It discusses the reforms undertaken by the government which led to the large-scale municipal amalgations, the abolition of the counties, and the introduction of a new set of regions. The article concludes with a discussion on the challenges and opportunities of the Danish municipalities and regions as a result of the 2007 reform.

Keywords: Denmark, Danish local government, self-government, central control, central government, reforms, Danish municipalities

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