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Berkay Alica: Citizens’ Perceived Legitimacy of Multi-Level Government in Norway


Berkay Alica, PhD Candidate at the Department of Comparative Politics, will give a 20 minute presentation on the following topic:

Citizens’ Perceived Legitimacy of Multi-Level Government in Norway 

Follow this link to the presentation on Zoom.


One of the main benefits associated with local and regional government is that they bring ‘government closer to the people.’ Previous studies suggest that local and regional governments are more responsive to citizens’ policy preferences than national governments. Although there are several studies exploring responsiveness, it is rarely studied which citizens value local and regional government and why they value subnational government. I first assess citizens’ preferences for self-rule –authority exercised by a government in its own jurisdiction– and for shared-rule –collaboration between national and subnational governments– and create an index for individuals’ preference for regional authority. Utilising experimental survey data from Round 19 of the Norwegian Citizen Panel (NCP) which includes approximately 1,600 respondents, this paper investigates how preferences for regional authority affect individuals’ attitudes towards the legitimacy of the multilevel decision-making process. I hypothesise that citizens with higher preferences for regional authority will be more willing to accept policy decisions when a subnational tier of government (local and/or regional) supports the decision. Another empirical test is performed employing a different operationalisation of the dependent variable: the unit of change in an individual’s willingness to accept a decision after being informed that another level of government is supporting the decision. The results are important as they could explain which citizens value local and/or regional government and which citizens prefer multilevel government.

Keywords: Regionalism, policy making, public opinion, survey experiment, survey research