Political Organization and Multi Level Governance

Research Projects


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Current projects

Members of the research group are involved in numerous projects within Norway, as well as internationally. A list of ongoing projects connected to the research group, including projects with affiliated members, PhD candidates, and post-docs follows. Research group members who are involved in each project are listed in parentheses. Additional information about each specific project can be obtained by clicking on its respective link. If a project appears interesting and you are interested in writing your Master’s thesis on a related topic, please contact any of the project members personally.

  • TROPICO - Transforming into Open Innovative and Collaborative Governments (Lise H. Rykkje). TROPICO comparatively examines how public administrations are transformed to enhance collaboration in policy design and service delivery, advancing the participation of public, private and societal actors. TROPICO has partners from 12 institutions in 10 European countries.
  • GOVCAP - Organizing for Internal Security and Crisis Management: Capacity and Legitimacy (Per Lægreid, Jacob Aars, Lise H. Rykkja). The project studies governance capacity and governance legitimacy for societal security and crisis management. The project examines the organization and coordination of government apparatuses; and the public perceptions and attitudes toward societal security, safety and resilience. The trade-off between the capacity for resilience and for emergency preparedness and between societal security and individual rights are central.
  • Kommunereformen (Jacob Aars)  Reshaping the Map of Local and Regional Self-Government (Jacob Aars). A study of the Norwegian Local Government Reform processes 2014–2019 is a cooperative project involving a number of Norwegian and Nordic social scientists and research institutions. The purpose of our project is to describe and analyse the reform as it progresses from the point of initiation in 2014, until a second main phase of municipal amalgamations is scheduled to be implemented by the end of 2019. Contract party: Uni Research Rokkan Centre (Bergen). Funding: The Norwegian Research Council.
  • Local Democracy Survey 2015 (Jacob Aars) is the sixth in the series of such surveys. The core topics of the project is voters' behavior, local party systems, voter participation, the municipality as a political arena, output-democracy, parties as intermediaries in local politics, municipalities reform, elderly participation and representation in local politics and campaigning and media. Contract party: Institute for Social Research. Funding: Ministry of Local Government and Modernisation.
  • Responding to welfare state services: An analysis of users, media, and public institutions (Jacob Aars): This project focuses on the input side of the Norwegian welfare system. The aim is to explain the demand and the support for welfare services. The first overall objective is to analyse how these services are received by users and the media and to explore the potential relationship between satisfaction and trust in government. The second objective is to understand how the input from users and the media are perceived by welfare institutions and politicians. The project builds on interdisciplinary cooperation, sophisticated methodological techniques, and a mix of quantitative and qualitative data. Contract party: Uni Research Rokkan Centre (Bergen). Funding: The Norwegian Research Council
  • Evaluation of the trial with lowered voting age at the 2015 local elections in Norway (Jacob Aars): The purpose of this project is to evaluate the trial with lowered voting age in the 2015 local elections. The project is a continuation of a corresponding project after the 2011 elections.  The evaluation has four work packages: 1) An analysis of the consequences of the 2001 trials, 2) Comparative case studies in the trial municipalities, 3) Parties, nomination, campaigning and representation, 4) An analysis of turnout, voter behavior and attitudes. Contract party: Institute for Social Research. Funding: Ministry of Local Government and Modernisation.
  • COCAL - Coordination, Capacity and Legitimacy: Organizing for Climate Change, Immigration, and the Police (Lise H. Rykkja, Per Lægreid, Julia Fleischer).  The COCAL-project investigates the coordination of public resources, decision-making systems and governance tools within three especially salient policy areas - climate change, immigration and the police. They can be seen as "wicked problems": They are complex, uncertain and ambiguous and require coordination between different actors, interests, organizations and levels. The project specifically investigates novel public sector coordination practices and their implications for governance capacity and legitimacy. It focuses on the extent and content of such novel forms of coordination within the three areas, the drivers behind them, how they function in practice, and their effects on capacity and legitimacy.
  • SOG-PRO (Julia Fleischer) The SOG-PRO research project develops and applies a novel framework that will systematically map and explain organizational changes within central governments cross-nationally in four European parliamentary democracies, France, Germany, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom. This project builds upon the most influential theory of the structure and organization of central governments, which is the “theory of the politics of structural choice”. We develop a comparative quantitative dataset of organizational changes within the central governments of these four countries for the period 1980 and 2010.  
  • GAP, "Government, Academics and Policy Making". (Julia Fleischer). German version of the GAP survey, a large international-comparative survey initiated, developed and tested in the UK at the University of Manchester, which investigates the use of academic knowledge in policy making processes. Julia Fleischer is part of a team of researchers conducting the GAP survey in the German federal ministerial bureaucracy.
  • Administrasjonsurveyen 2016. (Per Lægreid) This survey is a continuation of equivalent surveys from 1976, 1986, 1996, and 2006. It is a comprehensive survey sent to a sample of employees in the agencies and ministries. Focus is on agency and department employees’ roles and behavioral patterns.
  • Politireformen – en nullpunktsmåling (Helge Renå, Per Lægreid, and Jacob Aars)


PhD-candidate projects

Terrorangrepene 22/7 - Nødetatenes respons og samordning  (Helge Renå)

Comparing immigrant integration programs: Implementation through the lens of accountability (Rebecca Lynn Radlick)

Organizing for internal security and crisis management: A comparative study of central agencies in Norway, Sweden and Germany (Johannes Førde)


Additional members affiliated with the research group include professors emeriti and associated members who have primary affiliation elsewhere. Currently, Kari Tove Elvebakken (KPO), Lise H. Rykkja (adjunct position at the department), Simon Neby, and Kristin Rubecksen (all at Rokkan Center) are associated members. Professor emeritus Harald Sætren is also a member of the group. An overview of their projects follows.


  • Smartare Rapportering! (Simon Neby)

Funded by RFF Vest. Investigates the work load and difficulties encountered by municipalities in dealing with various reporting practices and systems, as well as the potential for improvement of these.

  • Innsats mot arbeidslivskriminalitet – kartlegging og evaluering av hvordan samarbeidet mellom statlige etater fungerer (Simon Neby)

Commissioned by the Norwegian Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs. Investigates and evaluates the coordination of state-level authorities in their efforts to handle and combat work-related crime.

  • “HordaPlan” and “HordaKlim” (Simon Neby)

Two integrated projects, funded by RFF Vest. “HordaKlim” investigates how new types of local-scale climate projections can be tailored to local municipal needs in climate change adaptation, and “HordaPlan” follows up by investigating how such knowledge can be implemented and included in local planning activities and actual decision-making processes. Based on a selection of six municipalities in Hordaland.

  • R3: Relevant, Reliable and Robust Local-Scale Climate Projections for Norway (funded by the NRC) (Simon Neby)
  • orresponds to HordaKlim and HordaPlan, but focuses on the national level and stakeholders in a wider sense than just municipalities.

Completed Research Projects

Members of the group have previously been involved in multiple projects within Norway and internationally. The following presents a selection of completed projects.

  • Transforming Central Agencies: Norway in a Nordic and European Perspective (Kristin Rubecksen)

Completed PhD-candidate Projects

  • National Agencies in the European Administrative Space (Ole Andreas Danielsen)
  • Demokratisk kontroll av regjeringen: Revisjonsinstitusjonenes innflytelse på forvaltningen gjennom forvaltningsrevisjon (Kristin Reichborn-Kjennerud)
  • Ansvarsrelasjoner i sykehussektoren: En komparativ studie av sykehusstyrer i Norge, Danmark og Tyskland (Peter Lango)