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Political Organization and Multi Level Governance

New Working Paper from Lise Hellebø Rykkja

"Coordinating "Wicked issues": The country Governor's Role in Norwegian Internal Security" is part of the research project «Multi-level governance in the tension between functional and territorial specialization». The paper examines the Norwegian County Governor’s role in internal security and civil protection, based on survey data from 2008.

The County Governor has a unique position between central and local government, and is responsible for coordinating regional state offices as well as local authorities in crisis situations. The paper demonstrates that coordination is recognized as important, but difficult to assess.

Coordination efforts largely match regional variation in existing threats, and correspond to previous crisis experience. Mutual trust between central actors within the field is generally considered as high, while mutual contact - with the exception of contact with local authorities - is low. The vertical and hierarchical dimension largely continues to be the dominant relation despite recent efforts to strengthen the horizontal dimension. Therefore, a main conclusion is that horizontal, cross-sector coordination remains a major challenge within the field. A lack of central, national and horizontal coordination can become a serious problem in the face of a major national crisis or disaster.

Read the paper here