Local policies and local government legitimacy: The Swedish case
2014 (English)In: Urban Research and Practice, ISSN 1753-5069, Vol. 7, no 2, 137-152 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Do local policies improve local government legitimacy and how do different forms of legitimacy relate to each other? These questions are analysed on the basis of an extensive survey carried out in 2010 in 111 Swedish municipalities, that generated responses from approximately 50,800 citizens, and complemented with register-based background data. Local legitimacy is construed as citizens’ assessments of whether the local political system functions in an acceptable way. Distinctions are made between input legitimacy, output legitimacy related to welfare services and output legitimacy that concerns basic collective services. Controlling for other individual and municipal-level factors, policies aimed at improving input legitimacy have an effect, but it is even more important that local government delivers welfare and other services in a way that is appreciated by the citizens. Output legitimacy related to welfare services is improved by public provision of these services, but not by additional spending. On the other hand, spending on cultural institutions, leisure, roads and streets increases citizens’ appreciation of basic collective services. In addition, the study shows that all three types of local government legitimacy are empirically related to each other. Whether they enhance each other or reflect one underlying dimension calls for further time-series-based research.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. Vol. 7, no 2, 137-152 p.
local government legitimacy, citizen satisfaction
Political Science (excluding Public Administration Studies and Globalization Studies)
Research subject statskunskap
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-89918DOI: 10.1080/17535069.2014.910920OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-89918DiVA: diva2:725054
ProjectsLokalpolitikens legitimitet, finansierat av Vetenskapsrådet 2009-11
FunderSwedish Research Council