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Policy Making and Local Economic Development: Tessellation or Idealization?

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Type: Conference Paper
Author: Carlsson, Lars
Conference: Fourth Circumpolar Universities Conference 'Northern Parallels'
Location: Prince George, BC, Canada
Conf. Date: February 24-26, 1995
Date: 1995
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/10535/806
Sector: General & Multiple Resources
Subject(s): economic development--developing countries
local public economy--developing countries
democracy--developing countries
village organization--developing countries
Abstract: "Political systems are occupied by the endeavor of contributing to local economic development. This fact is especially significant for the circum-polar north and its demand for local economic development. Political decisions are made and development programs are created, in order to circumvent negative trends in non-vital areas, such as sparsely populated regions, declining municipalities etc. This description however, illustrates an idealization of the policy making process albeit reflecting a dominant political discourse. Sovereign political decision units are supposed to be the true creators of policies, i.e. a top-down approach. The objects of the policies including 'peasants', villages, companies or associations are viewed as either recipients of, or irrelevant for, the policy process. An alternative view, the mosaic model, predicates that the processes of policy making consist of many pieces all of which can be contributive. If policy is defined as a set of ideas and activities in order to solve relevant problems, it is obvious that both the ideas and the problem solving process can be attributed to different actors. The conclusion of this paper is that politicians and administrators, dealing with local economic development, are normally faced with a multi-actor situation. However, if it is possible to organize situations where those different actors are contributing to problem solving, a developing mosaic can be created. This is, in turn, a matter of coordination from below, not from the top of formal political hierarchies."

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