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When Does Cooperation Improve Public Policy Implementation?
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Government. Uppsala University, Units outside the University, Office of Labour Market Policy Evaluation.
2007 (English)In: Policy Studies Journal, ISSN 0190-292X, E-ISSN 1541-0072, Vol. 35, no 4, 629-652 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Interorganizational cooperation is often considered valuable in the public sector. However, in this article it is suggested that the impact of cooperation on public policy implementation is dependent on the type of policy being carried out. It is argued that complex policies are more effectively put into practice if agencies cooperate a lot, whereas less difficult tasks are handled just as well without interorganizational cooperation. Thus, two policies within the Swedish active labor market policy are examined. The empirical test focuses on the cooperation between Public Employment Service offices and municipal labor market administrations. In agreement with the hypothesis, the findings suggest that policy matters. The implementation of one of the policies - the complex policy - is enhanced if cooperation between agencies increase. On the other hand, cooperation does not improve implementation of the less complex task. The study is based on quantitative data.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2007. Vol. 35, no 4, 629-652 p.
Keyword [en]
Active labor market policy, Implementation, Interorganizational cooperation, Policy, Sweden
National Category
Political Science (excluding Public Administration Studies and Globalization Studies)
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-95967DOI: 10.1111/j.1541-0072.2007.00240.xISI: 000251930300005OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-95967DiVA: diva2:170362
Available from: 2007-05-16 Created: 2007-05-16 Last updated: 2011-01-12Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. The Conditions for Multi-Level Governance: Implementation, Politics, and Cooperation in Swedish Active Labor Market Policy
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The Conditions for Multi-Level Governance: Implementation, Politics, and Cooperation in Swedish Active Labor Market Policy
2007 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

How can the central state direct local public units to work effectively towards public sector goals? In an effort to understand the conditions for governance, the three self-contained essays housed in this thesis examine the role of central and local government agencies in implementation of active labor market policy (ALMP) in Sweden. The study is based on new and unique quantitative data.

To understand steering possibilities, it is necessary to examine how local politics impinges on local actions. Thus, essay I concerns the following question: Does it matter for local government actions whether left wing or right wing parties govern at local level? I propose that the effect of political partisanship depend on entity size. I expect left-wing governments to be more engaged in ALMPs, but that the impact will be larger in sizeable entities. Empirical evidence supports the theoretical priors.

It is also important to know how actors can be coordinated. Thus, essay II tries to explain cooperation between agencies. Trust, goal congruence, and resource interdependence are focused upon. The results indicate that there is no impact of trust on cooperation if goals diverge. Similarly, it does not matter that agencies trust one another if they have different agendas. But if both factors exist simultaneously, cooperation increases. On the other hand, resource interdependence boosts cooperation regardless of trust levels.

But does cooperation really improve policy implementation? Essay III proposes that the impact is contingent on task complexity. I expect cooperation to be more valuable when the task is complex. In accordance with this hypothesis, the evidence suggests that only complex tasks can be carried out better through intense interorganizational cooperation.

Taken together, the insights from the essays might help us find routes to better governance.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Statsvetenskapliga institutionen, 2007. 47 p.
Political science, Governance, Intergovernmental relations, Implementation, Cooperation, Political parties, Active labor market policy, Sweden, Statsvetenskap
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-7916 (URN)978-91-506-1939-3 (ISBN)
Public defence
2007-06-08, Brusewitzsalen, Statsvetenskapliga institutionen, Gamla Torget 6, Uppsala, 10:15
Available from: 2007-05-16 Created: 2007-05-16Bibliographically approved

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