Decision-making efficiency, accountability and democracy in inter-municipal cooperation arrangements: The case of Iceland

Grétar Þór Eyþórsson


Inter-municipal cooperation in Iceland has a history of many decades. There has been significant cooperation between smaller and larger municipalities in order to improve the provision of services, which in many cases has been difficult for the small and smallest units – a question of capacity. In this article, the main task is to look at the democratic aspect of inter-municipal cooperation arrangements. The main research questions are on consequences for democracy, democratic accountability, efficiency and decision-making in this context, which have been pointed out as the main democratic concerns by various European researchers. To answer this for the case of Iceland, responses to questions on the topic from two different surveys among local leaders are analysed. The main conclusion is that the general concerns stated by the above-mentioned researchers also seem to be present in the case of inter-municipal cooperation in Iceland.


Inter-municipal cooperation; democratic accountability; democracy; efficiency.

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