Perspectives on the geographic cleavage: Exploring the attitudes of citizens, politicians and public administrators

Portrait picture of presenters Marta Rekdal Eidheim and Soran Hajo Dahl
Ingrid Kvåle Faleide

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Marta Rekdal Eidheim and Soran Hajo Dahl, PhDs at Department of Administration and Organization Theory, will give a 30-minute presentation followed by 15 minutes of Q&A. The event is in a hybrid format, you are welcome to join us for lunch from the Corner room at DIGSSCORE. Food is provided on a first-come first-served basis.

Click here for digital attendance.


The 2010s revived the geographic cleavage in Norwegian politics. The so-called “district uprising” marked by a surge in the Center Party’s popularity in the 2019 and 2021 elections testify to its salience amongst voters. We have less systematic knowledge about how geographic tensions play out among representatives and public administrators. How consistent are their views with those of the population at large, and are they influenced by the same factors? To find out, we fielded three identical questions in the KODEM round of the Norwegian Citizen Panel, the Panel of Representatives and the Panel of Public Administrators. The questions deal with perceptions of urban/rural power relations, the government’s reform initiatives over the past 8 years, and the value placed on different ways of life. The results show that the world looks somewhat different from the central government than it does for local politicians and voters. Moreover, we see a clear (latent) political alliance between the far left and the Center party in terms of opposition to the central government and the organization of public services, especially among politicians. However, only the Center Party’s voters and politicians are mobilized by the value-based geographical issue.