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date: 11 December 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Three major themes or waves of regional reform are distinguished—consolidation, decentralization, and collaboration combined with regionalization. Efficiency has been the main driver, while concern for democracy has been largely a counterweight to some of the actions taken in the name of efficiency. The path of reform can be explained by motives and struggles at the central rather than the local level. Factions (policy networks) within the central government have different opinions on what the local, regional, and central government and agencies should do. In particular, the role of agencies as an alternative to local welfare production has been overlooked in previous analyses.

Keywords: local governments, regional governments, consolidation, decentralization, collaboration, regionalization, centralization, agencies, policy networks, institutionalism

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