Professionalization vs Democratic Control. Are They Mutually Exclusive in Collaboration for Local Service Provision?


  • Anna Thomasson


The purpose of this study is to investigate how collaboration is perceived as reducing political control and influence thus creating issues of accountability, and to what extent this can be linked to resistance towards collaboration. This will be accomplished by investigating collaboration for joint service delivery as a phenomenon in the water and sewage sector in Sweden. By doing so we will be able to illustrate how there is a tension between on one hand professionals and their interests in providing high quality services and on the other hand political interests to keep control over investments and strategically important decisions. What the study also shows is how policy implementation does not necessarily have to be a result of political initiative, but also can be the result of a process initiated by street-level bureaucrats, especially if they have the support from managers and the board of directors.