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POLYGOV: Crisis Management In A Polycentric Nordic Local Democracy: Different Governance Structures – Different Results? 

About the project

The POLYGOV project is a comparative study of the crisis management, organisation and functioning of local democracies in Iceland, Norway, Sweden, Finland and Denmark against the backdrop of the divergent handling of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The project compares the local and regional coordination and management strategies employed as the pandemic has unfolded from March 2020 to date, including the vaccination strategies. The project is funded by the Research Council of Norway and runs from September 2021 to August 2024.
Primary objective:

To identify differences in the Nordic countries’ handling of the COVID-19 pandemic and the outcomes thereof to compare and analyze these differences to legal arrangements, public governance and organization.
Secondary objectives:

  1. Legal: Examine the implementation of measures and injunctions to manage the pandemic with a special emphasis on the distribution of authority between the national, regional and local levels in Nordic countries.
  2. Public Health: Examine cross-national, cross-regional and cross-municipal differences in the effects of COVID-19 and infection control measures on population health.
  3. Public Governance: Examine political and administrative leadership and the citizens' experience of management and the legitimacy of crisis measures in the Nordic local public sector.
  4. Organizational: Examine organization and in particular networks on regional and local levels in Nordic countries, including plans and the succeeding handling of the crisis.

The project support these UN sustainability goals

3. Good Health and Well-being
11. Sustainable Cities and Communities
16. Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions
17. Partnership for the Goals


Granted: kr 14.500.000
Funding received from:
The Research Council of Norway
Project period 2021 - 2024