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  • 1.
    Batory, Agnes
    et al.
    Central European University, Budapest, Hungary.
    Svensson, Sara
    Halmstad University, School of Education, Humanities and Social Science, Centrum för lärande, kultur och samhälle (CLKS). Central European University, Budapest, Hungary.
    Regulating Collaboration: The Legal Framework of Collaborative Governance in Ten European Countries2020In: International Journal of Public Administration, ISSN 0190-0692, E-ISSN 1532-4265, Vol. 43, no 9, p. 780-789Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Many scholars have considered when and why collaboration between government agencies and societal actors occurs. This article argues that a simple but largely overlooked answer to these questions is that a formal legal or administrative requirement to do so is in place. Therefore, the objective is to substantiate whether there are legal requirements to collaborate and in what type of source and context this obligation applies in ten European countries. The main finding is that collaboration is underpinned by an extensive range of legal requirements in Europe, although imposing these requirements is generally not the main objective. © 2019 The Author(s).

  • 2. Batory, Agnes
    et al.
    Svensson, Sara
    The fuzzy concept of collaborative governance: A systematic review of the state of the art2019In: Central European Journal of Public Policy, E-ISSN 1802-4866, Vol. 13, no 2, p. 28-39Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This article contributes to the consolidation and synthesis of scholarship on collaborative governance by expanding our knowledge of how the term is used in the academic literature and policy documents in a range of European countries. It adds value to the existing reviews of the field by conducting a systematic literature review on a corpus of over 700 article abstracts and a traditional literature review identifying five key analytical dimensions. The article also provides an exploratory analysis of grey literature hitherto outside the purview of researchers and considers the linguistic and cultural connotations that alter the meaning of the term when translated into new contexts in ten EU/EFTA countries. Findings indicate heterogeneity and fuzziness in the way the concept is used. The article argues that explicit positions with respect to five main analytical dimensions and taking into account the national connotations that the term carries across political systems would inject more clarity into the academic discourse. This, in turn, will help policymakers to make informed use of the concept, especially in multi-national policy-making arenas. © 2019 Agnes Batory et al., published by Sciendo 2019.

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  • 3.
    Batory, Agnes
    et al.
    Central European University, Budapest, Hungary.
    Svensson, Sara
    Central European University, Budapest, Hungary.
    The Use and Abuse of Participatory Governance by Populist Governments2019In: Policy and politics (Print), ISSN 0305-5736, E-ISSN 1470-8442, Vol. 47, no 2, p. 227-244Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Populists claim that they alone represent the voice of the people against a corrupt elite. We argue that populist governments augment this claim by appropriating and manipulating the language and methods of participatory governance. Advancing an analytical framework on content, process, effect, resource efficiency and communication dimensions, we illustrate these arguments with the National Consultations in Hungary in 2010–18. Our conclusion for the case study is that these exercises were deeply flawed for securing popular input into policy-making. The implication for scholarship is that participatory governance enthusiasts need to be more aware not just of the uses, but also the abuses, of public input, while scholars of populism should pay more attention to the actual policies and practices populist actors employ to gain or maintain power.

  • 4.
    Demidov, Andrey
    et al.
    Central European University, Budapest, Hungary.
    Svensson, Sara
    Central European University, Budapest, Hungary.
    Local cross-border cooperation at the European Union's external border: The meaning of local in the European Neighbourhood Policy2013In: Regions and Cohesion, ISSN 2152-906X, E-ISSN 2152-9078, Vol. 3, no 2, p. 22-46Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The article examines a key priority in European Union policy toward the east and south: the effort to turn the external border areas into secure, stable, and prospering regions via support for cross-border cooperation. This features highly in a range of policies brought together under the European Neighbourhood Policy and in the partnership with Russia. The main question asked by the article is if these policies live up to the goal of involving local actors. Based on a content analysis of pro- gram documents and a categorization of project partners by actor type, the article argues that the notion of “local” can be subject to various un- derstandings, but if we understand local versus regional along the lines of the European Nomenclature of Territorial Units for Statistics (NUTS) classification, the policy in practice is undoubtedly tilted toward regional rather than local cross-border cooperation. In addition, the article argues that the four objectives of the European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument-Cross Border Cooperation (ENPI-CBC) do not match what could realistically be achieved with the resources available. © 2019 Berghahn Books

  • 5.
    Eschweiler, Jennifer
    et al.
    Roskilde University, Roskilde, Denmark.
    Svensson, Sara
    Center for Policy Studies, Central European University, Budapest, Hungary.
    Mocca, Elisabetta
    University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, United Kingdom.
    Cartwright, Andrew
    Center for Policy Studies, Central European University, Budapest, Hungary.
    Villadsen Nielsen, Louise
    Roskilde University, Roskilde, Denmark.
    The Reciprocity Dimension of Solidarity: Insights from Three European Countries2019In: VOLUNTAS - International Journal of Voluntary and Nonprofit Organizations, ISSN 0957-8765, E-ISSN 1573-7888, Vol. 30, no 3, p. 549-561Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The article argues that closer attention to how solidarity is understood and expressed in different European contexts can shed light on the conditions for establishing a social and solidarity economy. Drawing on data collected within the H2020 SOLIDUS project, which explores current expressions of European solidarity, the comparative analysis covers three social economy initiatives, each representing a country with different political and economic context. The analysis focuses on solidarity as reciprocity and, in particular, how it is affected by such factors as actor motivations, internal participatory functioning, resource mix and political legitimacy. While further empirical work is needed, the findings suggest that solidarity as reciprocity produced by social and solidarity economy organisations thrives where political institutions are both supportive and trusted, where public funding is accessible, and where partnerships with relatively autonomous social and solidarity economy organisations are genuinely collaborative. © 2019, The Author(s).

  • 6.
    Irion, Kristina
    et al.
    Institute for Information Law, University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
    Delinavelli, Giacomo
    Institute for Information Law, University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
    Coutinho, Mariana Francese
    Institute for Information Law, University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
    Fathaigh, Ronan Ó
    Institute for Information Law, University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
    Jusić, Tarik
    Center for Social Research Analitika, Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina & University of New York in Prague, Prague, Czech Republic.
    Klimkiewicz, Beata
    Jagiellonian University, Kraków, Poland.
    Llorens, Carles
    Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain.
    Rozgonyi, Krisztina
    University of Vienna, Wien, Austria.
    Svensson, Sara
    Halmstad University, School of Education, Humanities and Social Science, Centrum för lärande, kultur och samhälle (CLKS). Central European University, Vienna, Austria.
    Smokvina, Tanja Kerševan
    University of Ljubljana, Ljubljana, Slovenia.
    van Til, Gijs
    Institute for Information Law, University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
    The independence of media regulatory authorities in Europe2019Report (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    This IRIS Special focuses on the independence of regulatory authorities and bodies in the broadcasting and audiovisual media sector in Europe. These entities have proliferated according to the different legal traditions of the respective countries they belong to. They do not, therefore, conform one, single model. Nonetheless, they reflect a common approach of sorts with regard to the institutional set-up of regulatory governance. The independence of these entities is particularly important because it contributes to the broader objective of media independence, which is in itself an essential component of democracy.

    The creation, status and functioning of these regulatory authorities and bodies were shaped pursuant to the constitutional requirements and/or administrative practices of the countries that established them. As a result, each has distinct characteristics and levels of independence that differ according to where they are located. But when is an authority to be considered independent? The measurement of an entity's independence requires careful analysis of the legal texts setting it up, but also of the practices that are rooted in reality and reflect the sensitivities of the societies in question.

    This IRIS Special aims to enlighten the reader on the definition of the independence of a regulatory authority or body, on the criteria used to assess its independence, and on the legal framework embodying this independence at the European level, as well as provide analysis of the status and functioning of regulatory authorities and bodies in a selection of nine European countries: Bosnia and Herzegovina, Spain, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Sweden, and Slovenia. This sample reflects the different levels of independence that can be found across Europe. © European Audiovisual Observatory (Council of Europe), Strasbourg, September 2019

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  • 7.
    Medve-Bálint, Gergő
    et al.
    Central European University, Budapest, Hungary.
    Svensson, Sara
    Central European University, Budapest, Hungary.
    Diversity and Development: Policy Entrepreneurship of Euroregional Initiatives in Central and Eastern Europe2013In: Journal of Borderlands Studies, ISSN 0886-5655, E-ISSN 2159-1229, Vol. 28, no 1, p. 15-31Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The article builds on the authors' research into the formation of Euroregions in Central and Eastern Europe, addressing questions that may also be relevant on a broader European scale. Based on our empirical findings, in previous research we demonstrated why some local governments join Euroregions while others abstain. This article takes a further step and aims to discuss what happens once local governments become involved in them. How do motivations and expectations of local governments, as well as the power asymmetries between them, determine the capacity of these small-scale local cross-border collaborative initiatives to act as policy entrepreneurs? We take the three different Euroregional initiatives present in the Komárom–Esztergom region at the Hungarian–Slovakian border as illustrative examples. The empirical data were collected through personal interviews with the representatives of the Euroregions and with the highest political representatives of all local governments that are members on the Hungarian side. We find that differences in membership structure and in the motivational background influence their capacity to act as policy entrepreneurs operationalized as organizational development, diversification of resource base and appropriation of cross-border cooperation activities. We thus rely on a modified version of Markus Perkmann's theoretical framework built around the concept of policy entrepreneurship, but apply it to cases where we are able to control for variations in underlying macro-level conditions, such as politico-administrative or ethno-linguistic settings. The paper, therefore, highlights the differences in the internal dynamics of these initiatives and also challenges the perception of Euroregions as homogeneous institutions. © 2013 Copyright Association for Borderlands Studies.

  • 8.
    Molema, Marijn
    et al.
    Frisian Institute of Social Research, Leeuwarden, Netherlands & Fryske Akademy, Leeuwarden, Netherlands.
    Svensson, SaraHalmstad University, School of Education, Humanities and Social Science, Centrum för lärande, kultur och samhälle (CLKS).
    Regional Economic Development and History2020Collection (editor) (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Regional Studies is inextricably intertwined with history. Cultural and institutional legacies inform choices between different policy options, meaning that the past plays a crucial role in how we think about regional economic development, planning and policy.

    Through a selection of accessible theoretical, methodological and empirical chapters, this book explores the connections between regional development and history. Drawing on the expertise of scholars in several disciplines, it links history to topics such as behavioural geography, interdependence, divergence and regional and urban policy.

    This innovative book will be of interest to researchers across regional studies, planning, economic geography and economic history.

  • 9.
    Molnár, András
    et al.
    Central European University, Budapest, Hungary; University of Pécs, Pécs, Hungary.
    Svensson, Sara
    Halmstad University, School of Education, Humanities and Social Science.
    Collaboration and Policy Making in Adaptation Planning: The Impact of a Boundary Organization in Hungary2022In: The International Journal of Climate Change, ISSN 1835-7156, Vol. 14, no 2, p. 49-63Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    To assess the possible impacts of climate change and plan the necessary adaptation measures, countries need to analyze complex and multilayered information. Data often belongs to different disciplines and institutions and is hard to interpret for policy making in its raw form. Boundary organizations have a pivotal role in facilitating discussion between academic and political actors and producing tools to assist in decision-making processes. Hungary, an Eastern European country, faces climate change effects ranging from changes in precipitation patterns to increasing frequency of weather extremities. This article examines the establishment of a boundary organization, the National Adaptation Centre, and its decision support tool, which aims to assist the territorial planning of the country. Through this, we identify the extent to which the National Adaptation Geo-Information System (NAGiS) tool has had an impact on collaboration pattern designs and policy making. The study finds that NAGiS supports policy development at different levels of governance. At the same time, the introduction of this information and communication technology tool was not sufficient to create a breakthrough or counteract other factors such as the low salience of the issue at the national level. Furthermore, the introduction of NAGiS did not change formal structures or procedures. However, it did have an impact on attitudes toward data sharing, which in turn shaped collaborative practices. The organizations involved generally evaluated the effects of the tool on their collaboration as positive and lasting beyond the development phase of the project. Changed attitudes may prove important for enhanced internal collaborative governance down the line. András Molnár, Sara Svensson, Published by Common Ground Research Networks.

  • 10.
    Svensson, Sara
    Halmstad University, School of Education, Humanities and Social Science, Centrum för lärande, kultur och samhälle (CLKS). European University Institute, Fiesole, Italy.
    Book Review: Matthew Longo The Politics of Borders: Sovereignty, Security, and the Citizen after 9/112021In: Political Studies Review, ISSN 1478-9299, E-ISSN 1478-9302, Vol. 19, no 3, p. NP1-NP2Article, book review (Other academic)
  • 11.
    Svensson, Sara
    Halmstad University, School of Education, Humanities and Social Science, Centrum för lärande, kultur och samhälle (CLKS). European University Institute, Fiesole, Italy.
    Border policy centre stage: three takes on the making, managing and understanding of borders2021In: European Political Science, ISSN 1680-4333, E-ISSN 1682-0983, Vol. 20, no 2, p. 387-391Article, book review (Refereed)
  • 12.
    Svensson, Sara
    Halmstad University, School of Education, Humanities and Social Science, Centrum för lärande, kultur och samhälle (CLKS). European University Institute, San Domenico di Fiesole, Italy.
    Border Regions as Laboratories of European (Dis)integration): Institutional Reactions to Re-Bordering Policies at Internal Borders2021Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The paper seeks to contribute to mapping current (potential) transformations in cross-border institutional activity and understanding the mechanisms of the changed geo-political environment taking place in Europe since 2015. It does so through a study of how institutionalized cross-border cooperation institutions, referred to in the paper as Euroregions, responded to re-bordering policies at internal (Schengen) borders. The number of Euroregions has increased significantly since the early 1990s and many of them have benefited from EU technical and financial support. This has been done under the presumption that these institutions will promote local cross-border flows of goods, services and people, making them laboratories of European integration at a local, smaller, scale. The metaphor of “laboratory”, which has often been used in research on borderlands and these institutions, has regained analytical purchase since 2015, when countries that are parties to the Schengen agreement increasingly started to reinstate internal border controls following heightened public attention to the number of refugees reaching and crossing Europe. This practice became five times as frequent in the 2015-2019 period, compared to the preceding five years according to data from the European Commission. This was followed by the unprecedented border closures induced by the Covid-19 pandemic. The paper conducts a document analysis of written reports and statements by Euroregions situated at two internal borders with a high degree of integration (Austria/Germany and Denmark/Sweden), in order to map what these institutions said (or did not say) when borders reappeared in their midst, and whether there was convergence around resistance, or tensions leading to quiet compliance? © 2021 European Consortium for Political Research.

  • 13.
    Svensson, Sara
    Halmstad University, School of Education, Humanities and Social Science, Centrum för lärande, kultur och samhälle (CLKS). European University Institute, Florence, Italy.
    Borderless worlds for whom? Ethics, moralities and mobilities2021In: Journal of Borderlands Studies, ISSN 0886-5655, E-ISSN 2159-1229, Vol. 36, no 1, p. 147-148Article, book review (Refereed)
  • 14.
    Svensson, Sara
    Halmstad University, School of Education, Humanities and Social Science, Centrum för lärande, kultur och samhälle (CLKS). Central European University, Vienna, Austria.
    Challenges to further up-take of the EGTC tool – a policy science approach to the critical moment of creation2020In: 15 years of the EGTCs. Lessons learnt and future perspectives / [ed] Gyula Ocskay, Budapest: Central European Services for Crossborder Initiatives (CESCI) , 2020, p. 81-102Chapter in book (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    The chapter uses theoretical insights from policy science and public policy studies to argue that more attention should be paid to the critical moment of EGTC creation in order to understand the extent to which the EGTC instru- ment has been successful or not in terms of being used. The chapter reviews cross-border institutional development processes at three different borders and border sections, out of which two led to the creation of an EGTC and one did not. Zooming in on moments of institutional transformation and/ or the foundation of an EGTC helps answering the question why there has not been an even higher uptake of the EGTC instrument. The examination of processes at the Slovak-Hungarian, the Romanian-Hungarian-Serbian and the Danish-Swedish borders demonstrate how the likely uptake of the EGTC format increases at times of upheaval, which can be understood as windows of opportunity. However, for institutional transformation to happen, the moment of getting current participants in the organisation to agree to the new format represents a moment of risk, and risk-averse actors may choose to rather “not rock the boat”. The presence or absence of policy entrepreneurs, in combina- tion with political and policy events turn these times into critical junctures, casting shadows over the organisational ecology of a specific border region for considerable time.

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  • 15.
    Svensson, Sara
    Halmstad University, School of Education, Humanities and Social Science, Centrum för lärande, kultur och samhälle (CLKS). European University Institute, Robert Schumann Centre for Advances Studies, Fiesole, Italy.
    Changing borders in Europe: exploring the dynamics of integration, differentiation and self-determination in the European Union2021In: Regional & Federal Studies, ISSN 1359-7566, E-ISSN 1743-9434, Vol. 31, no 2, p. 289-291Article, book review (Other academic)
  • 16.
    Svensson, Sara
    Halmstad University, School of Health and Welfare, Centre of Research on Welfare, Health and Sport (CVHI). Department of Public Policy, Central European University, Budapest, Hungary.
    Cross-Border Regions in Policy Networks: The EGTC as a Tool of Interest Representation2014In: Functional and More?: New Potential for the European Grouping of Territorial Cooperation - EGTC / [ed] Alice Engl and Carolin Zwilling, Bolzano: EURAC , 2014, p. 83-98Chapter in book (Other academic)
  • 17.
    Svensson, Sara
    Central European University, Budapest, Hungary.
    Euroregions: Institutional transfer and reinterpreted norms in Central and Eastern Europe2018In: Policy Experiments, Failures and Innovations: Beyond Accession in Central and Eastern Europe / [ed] Agnes Batory, Andrew Cartwright & Diane Stone, Cheltenham: Edward Elgar Publishing, 2018, 1, p. 131-151Chapter in book (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    A new type of institution that appeared in post-communist Europe in the 1990s was the “Euroregion,” an association between local or regional authorities located close to a national border in two or more European countries. Most Euroregions in Central and Eastern Europe were modeled closely upon Western European examples, but the chapter argues that the motivations of the stakeholders at national and local government levels have become more important for the understanding and impact of these institutions than the original policy ideas behind the transferred institution, potentially leading to counter-productive effects in certain areas, such as the creation of nationality-transcending European identities. Whether the transfer (and translation) of this particular institution is judged as “failure,” “conflicted success” or “precarious success” is to some degree “in the eye of the beholder,” whether that be a transnational actor or a local agent.

  • 18.
    Svensson, Sara
    Halmstad University, School of Health and Welfare, Centre of Research on Welfare, Health and Sport (CVHI). Central European University, Budapest, Hungary.
    Forget the policy gap: why local governments really decide to take part in cross-border cooperation initiatives in Europe2013In: Eurasian geography and economics, ISSN 1538-7216, E-ISSN 1938-2863, Vol. 54, no 4, p. 409-422Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The article investigates the motivations of European local governments to join formalized cooperation initiatives between sub-national authorities, referred to as Euroregions. Micro-level comparative empirical data are brought forward to argue against the European Union portrayal of Euroregions as primarily responding to local or regional policy problems that cannot be dealt with within the national contexts, expressed as filling the gaps. Instead, the paper contends that local government engagement mainly derives from normative beliefs, and when instrumental expectations appear, they are grant-driven rather than policy-driven. The empirical data consist of material generated by 136 interviews with mayors of local governments in six Euroregions, located at three national borders (Sweden/Norway, Hungary/Slovakia and Austria/Germany). Qualitative data from these interviews are used to investigate assumptions, beliefs, and practices underpinning Euroregional membership. © 2013 Taylor & Francis.

  • 19.
    Svensson, Sara
    Central European University, Budapest, Hungary.
    Health policy in cross-border cooperation practices: the role of Euroregions and their local government members2017In: Territory, Politics, Governance, ISSN 2162-2671, Vol. 5, no 1, p. 47-64Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Health Policy in Cross-border Cooperation Practices: The Role of Euroregions and Their Local Government Members. Territory, Politics, Governance. The support for local cross-border cooperation in Europe has been built on the premises of new cross-border institutions (Euroregions) as primarily responding to policy problems that cannot be dealt with effectively within the national contexts, expressed as ‘filling the gaps’. One area with significant gains to be made by cooperating across borders is health policy. This article discusses the extent to which health policy has (not) become an activity in cross-border practices, and what the potential is for Euroregions to facilitate this. The article first relies on previous research in combination with a mapping exercise of 53 current structures to demonstrate that despite well-advertised ‘best practices’, the overall level of health cooperation is relatively low. It then looks into the motivations for cooperation and policy priorities of participating local governments. The empirical data consist of interviews with mayors of local governments in six Euroregions, located at three national borders (Sweden–Norway, Hungary–Slovakia and Austria–Germany). The analysis points to attitudes related to frustration, a sense of institutional inappropriateness and cognitive distances playing a role in the low salience of health policy. The article therefore argues that cooperation in the health area will derive from policy activity from other actors than Euroregions. © 2016 Regional Studies Association.

  • 20.
    Svensson, Sara
    Halmstad University, School of Education, Humanities and Social Science.
    How is Europe and European integration remembered?: A reflection on the Oresund/Greater Copenhagen cross-border region2022Conference paper (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    The paper analyzes how history is used in the Danish-Swedish cross-border Oresund area, located around the metropolitan area of the Danish capital Copenhagen and across the strait of Oresund to the Swedish regions Scania and Halland. The case study allows for an exploration of the use of history with relation to multiple regional processes (EU, Nordic, Scandinavian), as well as from multiple perspectives (national, sub-national and trans-national). The article argues that regional and local discourses focus memory politics on Nordic cooperation in general, with some emphasis on post-War history of Nordic institutional cooperation, but that current diverting political standpoints at national level (migration, crime, the Covid pandemic) may affect how history is portrayed regionally. It further argues that the references to the European continent’s totalitarian past, fascism and colonialism is not explicitly used for memory politics despite an increasing body of critical scholarly research concerning Sweden’s relationship to Nazi-Germany. On the other hand, recollection of the World Wars and the Holocaust are used in asymmetric modes. © 2022, The Author.

  • 21.
    Svensson, Sara
    Halmstad University, School of Education, Humanities and Social Science.
    Perspective on Sub-national Governance of Crossborder Regions: Democratic Governance in Anti-democratic Times?2021In: Frontiers in Political Science, E-ISSN 2673-3145, Vol. 3, article id 710923Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In the past decades, subnational cooperation between municipalities and regions has become more common all over the world. In Europe and its neighborhood this tendency has been especially visible, much due to policy advocacy and technical assistance by regional intergovernmental organizations such as the Council of Europe, the European Union and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe. This development accelerated in the 1990s in tandem with the transition and democratization processes that started after the fall of the Soviet Union. However, in many places democratization has stopped or started to reverse, leading to backsliding away from democracy. While democracy has always been different in crossborder regions due to the special status of their governance arrangements, this new development accentuates a need for new tools to understand the implications of various threats to democracy for the future of crossborder cooperation. This Perspective article provides an overview of the literature on participatory governance and democracy with relation to border regions, and suggests some mechanisms whereby current backsliding developments might harm sub-national cross-border democracy and a way by which current indexes of democracy at the national level could be adapted to the “messy” spaces of cross-border regional governance. This allows the Perspective article to be useful to both further research in the area and policy practitioners. Empirical examples from Central and Eastern Europe, are used as illustrations. © 2021 Svensson.

  • 22.
    Svensson, Sara
    Halmstad University, School of Education, Humanities and Social Science, Centrum för lärande, kultur och samhälle (CLKS).
    Radicalism and moderation at the edges of the nation: Attitudes to fences and re-bordering in Hungary2021Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The radicalization of national conservatism in Hungary, under the leadership of prime minister Viktor Orban, is well documented. Less known, at least internationally, is what has happened at the sub-national level. This paper focuses on borderlands as one particular local domain, where national, regional and local interests and ideologies intersect and interact with global geo-political developments. In 2015, in the midst and aftermath of the so-called “refugee crisis”, Hungary erected a fence – sometimes referred to as a wall – along the entire length of its border to Serbia. It also reinforced physical infrastructure and/or instated other measures of protection at the borders to Croatia and Romania, both of which are fellow members of the European Union. In 2020, like many other European countries, the government emphasized border closings as one of the most prominent measures against Covid-19. These processes of re-bordering and re-boundarization took place within borderland spaces rich in histories of territorial disputes and population movements. However, under the impact of democratic transition, European integration and de-escalation of the Balkan conflicts in the 1990s and 2000s, these borderlands have been characterized by institutionalization of cross-border cooperation and ambitious attempts at joint policy formation at the local level. European Union policymakers expected, as did many scholars in the field of borderland studies, that the development towards more permeable borders and more cooperation would continue. It was also assumed that institutions of cooperation would be main proponents in this endeavor. The paper questions this assumption by asking how cross-border cooperation institutions and other local actors in the borderlands have reacted to policies of re-bordering since 2015. The paper can thus establish whether there are differences in attitudes towards radical nationalism between the country’s core and (border-close) ‘peripheries’. 

  • 23.
    Svensson, Sara
    Halmstad University, School of Education, Humanities and Social Science, Centrum för lärande, kultur och samhälle (CLKS). European University Institute, Florence, Italy .
    Region-making and Cross-Border Cooperation: New Evidence from Four Continents2020In: European Planning Studies, ISSN 0965-4313, E-ISSN 1469-5944, Vol. 28, no 7, p. 1452-1453Article, book review (Other academic)
  • 24.
    Svensson, Sara
    Halmstad University, School of Education, Humanities and Social Science. European University Institute, Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies, Florence, Italy.
    Resistance or Acceptance? The Voice of Local Cross-Border Organizations in Times of Re-Bordering2022In: Journal of Borderlands Studies, ISSN 0886-5655, E-ISSN 2159-1229, Vol. 37, no 3, p. 493-512Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    National borders in Europe are increasingly subject to re-bordering processes, including the external and internal borders of the European Union. This article asks if and how local cross-border organizations (Euroregions) have reacted to to the recent hardening of these borders. The Austrian-German border is one where border controls have been re-introduced in the wake of the 2015 refugee crisis, and which also has significant local cross- border institutional activity. Based on an analysis of 350 written items, published by six Euroregions during the five-year period 2015–2019, the article finds that the Euroregions have generally not voiced resistance to this development and have not been active in relation to the policy field of refugee or migrant inclusion. When they reacted, the resistance has mainly been embedded in an argumentation linked to instrumental concerns, such as the traffic situation, even though the research also demonstrated the existence of normative arguments related to human rights discourses and rights of migrants. © 2020 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group

  • 25.
    Svensson, Sara
    Central European University, Budapest, Hungary.
    Samhällsbyggande över gränsen: Gränsöverskridande regioner som policyidé och forskningsfält2013In: Det regionala samhällsbyggandets praktiker: Tiden, Makten, Rummet / [ed] Tomas Mitander, Line Säll & Andreas Öjehag-Pettersson, Göteborg: Daidalos, 2013, p. 223-237Chapter in book (Other academic)
  • 26.
    Svensson, Sara
    Halmstad University, School of Education, Humanities and Social Science.
    Stäng gränserna, öppna gränserna! Gränsregionala samarbetsorganisationers reaktioner på gränskontroller och gräns­stängningar i Europa2023In: Statsvetenskaplig Tidskrift, ISSN 0039-0747, Vol. 125, no 4, p. 1093-1118Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The article investigates how local cross-border cooperation organizations reacted to re-bordering policies since 2015, with focus on the re-bordering related to the migration of 2015 and the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020. The article compares the reaction of cross-border cooperation organizations at three European borders, using a typology of resistance, support and acceptance. The findings dem-onstrate how local actors were constrained by complex geopolitical and national interest narratives, and that local responses could take a variety of formats. The article suggests that further research should focus on understanding political-administrative relations within multi-level systems to explain this variety.

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  • 27.
    Svensson, Sara
    Central European University, Budapest, Hungary.
    The Bordered World of Cross-border Cooperation: The Determinants of Local Government Contact Networks within Euroregions2015In: Regional & Federal Studies, ISSN 1359-7566, E-ISSN 1743-9434, Vol. 25, no 3, p. 277-295Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The article discusses the determinants of local government contact networks within cross-border cooperation organizations (Euroregions). Relying on social capital theory, a combination of social network and qualitative analytical tools are applied on data from two Scandinavian and two East Central European cases. The analysis reveals that, even in favourable circumstances, contact networks are thin and Euroregions fail to develop into truly integrated political spaces. The analysis also shows that contact patterns on one side of the border, determined primarily by inter-municipal cooperation, will matter for how contact networks are formed across the border. The findings are important, as membership in a Euroregion is expected to foster cross-border political relationships that could have possible spillover effects in terms of encouraging policy cooperation outside the framework of the Euroregion, which in turn would enhance the likelihood of well-functioning cross-border governance spaces. © 2015 Taylor & Francis.

  • 28.
    Svensson, Sara
    Central European University, Budapest, Hungary.
    The connotations of collaboration: European linguistic and scholarly perspectives on collaborative governance2019Report (Other academic)
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  • 29.
    Svensson, Sara
    Halmstad University, School of Education, Humanities and Social Science, Centrum för lärande, kultur och samhälle (CLKS).
    The Difficult Case of Healthcare Cooperation Across Borders: German–Polish bilateral arrangements in the light of previous European borderland experiences2021In: Poland and Germany in the European Union: The Multidimensional Dynamics of Bilateral Relations / [ed] Elżbieta Opiłowska; Monika Sus, London: Routledge, 2021, p. 289-235Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This chapter discusses the state of Polish–German bilateral relations on healthcare and health policy, focusing on the potentials and practices in the regions and municipalities situated close to the border. Reviewing actions taken, discussed or highlighted by Euroregions, twin towns, intergovernmental bodies and media, the chapter finds that the overall activity level in this field is low compared to other policy sectors, even though there are signs of increased cooperation. The analysis shows that the cross-border integration and bilateral relations in the health sector are impacted by the asymmetric resources on the respective sides of the borders. This has largely spurred an increase in private exchanges but hindered the effective development of integrated public services at the local level. This is related to the notions of interdependence, where actors and citizens do not perceive their health or health sectors to be affected by their neighbours’ activities, despite larger global systemic interdependence that concern human health. The analysis also demonstrates that historical legacies have relatively little importance in the area of healthcare. At the subnational level, lack of social capital and difficulties of local cross-border actors to efficiently work the multilevel governance scales were found to be key obstacles. 

  • 30.
    Svensson, Sara
    Halmstad University, School of Education, Humanities and Social Science.
    The effects of democratic backsliding on cross-border regional policy-making in Central Europe: the case of Hungary’s border regions2022Conference paper (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    The paper engages with the concept of democratic backsliding (Backe and Sitter, 2020; Bermeo 2016; Greskovits 2015) with relation to policymaking in a specific territorial governance space, namely cross-border regions. Many scholars have pointed to the lack of democratic legitimacy of cross-border regional policy-making processes, but usually this has been in the context of technical-bureaucratic and/or neo-liberal modes of governing. There has so far been no attention to what happens when borderlands are drawn into democratic backsliding processes. The paper uses the seven national borders of Hungary to analyze policy-making processes in three steps. It first discusses the deteriorating democracy index of the V-Dem project with relation to the Hungarian borderlands. It then applies a basic policy cycle approach to discuss how policy-making in the respective borderland regions may be affected by deficiencies in democratic policy-making processes at the national level. Finally, the paper investigates attitudes among voters and cross-border cooperation organizations in the border regions. The paper argues that backsliding democracy has consequences across the different dimensions of democracy and through the stages of the policy cycle, although unevenly so, with the electoral and participatory and dimensions of democracy and the early stages of the policy cycle more affected. In addition, the finding that citizens residing close to border crossings tend to be right leaning indicates a presence of nationalist attitudes likely to lead to views on borders as protection rather than obstacles to be overcome. This implies a changed discursive meaning of borders, possibly affecting the deliberative component of democracy. © 2022, The Author. 

  • 31.
    Svensson, Sara
    Halmstad University, School of Education, Humanities and Social Science, Centrum för lärande, kultur och samhälle (CLKS). European University Institute, San Domenico di Fiesole, Italy.
    When borders return: The response of European cross-border regional institutions to re-bordering2021Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The paper seeks to contribute to mapping current (potential) transformations in cross-border institutional activity and understanding the mechanisms of the changed geo-political environment taking place in Europe since 2015. The specific focus will be on institutional reactions to re-bordering policies, such as the erection of walls or re-introduction of border controls within the Schengen area and the border closures that occurred during the Covid -19 pandemic. The paper presents the results of fieldwork at three European borders (Austria/Germany, Sweden/Denmark and Hungary/Serbia/Croatia) investigating what Euroregions and other cross-border institutions said when borders reappeared in their midst, and whether there was convergence around resistance, or tensions leading to quiet compliance. The paper demonstrates how local actors were constrained by complex geopolitical and national interest narratives, and that local responses could take a variety of formats.

  • 32.
    Svensson, Sara
    et al.
    Halmstad University, School of Education, Humanities and Social Science, Centrum för lärande, kultur och samhälle (CLKS). Center for Policy Studies, Central European University, Vienna, Austria.
    Balogh, Peter
    Institute for Regional Studies, Hungarian Academy of Sciences (MTA), Budapest, Hungary.
    Cartwright, Andrew
    Center for Policy Studies, Central European University, Vienna, Austria.
    Unexpected Counter-Movements to Nationalism: the Hidden Potential of Local Food Communities2019In: Eastern European Countryside, E-ISSN 2300-8717, Vol. 25, no 1, p. 37-61Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This article identifies a hitherto understudied element of local food communities, namely their potential as counter-movements to nationalist discourses, practices and policies. This potential should be particularly valuable in Eastern Europe, where European integration has been severely contested over the past years by political elites. We support our argument by a closer qualitative inquiry into two cases; one with urban-rural dimensions in the metropolitan area of Budapest and one in a more sparsely populated cross-border region at the Slovak-Hungarian border. Based on 18 interviews with coordinators, producers and consumers,

    numerous visits to both sites, and studying the organisations’ documents we conclude that the growth of local food communities contributes to strengthened solidarity in local communities. Although nationalist discourses on buying domestic are rarely contested explicitly, the lack of any reference to national movements and discourses testifies to the primary importance of the local. © 2019 Sara Svensson et al., published by Sciendo 2019.

  • 33.
    Svensson, Sara
    et al.
    Center for Policy Studies, Central European University (CEU), Budapest, Hungary.
    Balogh, Péter
    Institute for Regional Studies, CERS, Hungarian Academy of Sciences (MTA), Budapest, Hungary.
    Limits to Integration: Persisting Border Obstacles in the EU2018In: European Territorial Cooperation: Theoretical and Empirical Approaches to the Process and Impacts of Cross-Border and Transnational Cooperation in Europe / [ed] Eduardo Medeiros, Cham: Springer, 2018, p. 115-134Chapter in book (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    This chapter explores the various ways in which borders act as barriers and obstacles in the European Union, and why borders maintain this function even in a context of openness. While most formal barriers to the mobility of goods, capital, services, and labour (i.e. the “four freedoms”) have by now been removed within the European Union, the effects of borders persist. For people living close to borders, these function as obstacles that are related to communication and infrastructure, legal and administrative differences, as well as language and culture. Opinion polls and consultations with European stakeholders witness the importance of addressing regulatory (legal and administrative) obstacles, especially in the fields of labour and education, while language is an important obstacle where more could be done. The chapter finishes with policy recommendations to practitioners seeking to conduct and/or improve systematic policy work to remove border obstacles for enhanced territorial cohesion and regional development. © Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018.

  • 34.
    Svensson, Sara
    et al.
    Halmstad University, School of Education, Humanities and Social Science.
    Balogh, Péter
    ELTE Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest, Hungary; Centre for Economic and Regional Studies, Pécs, Hungary.
    Resilience at Hungary's borders: between everyday adaptations and political resistance2022In: Borderlands Resilience: Transitions, Adaptation and Resistance at Borders / [ed] Dorte Jagetic Andersen; Eeva-Kaisa Prokkola, Abingdon: Routledge, 2022, 1, p. 73-89Chapter in book (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The chapter investigates how a transborder food community, cross-border commuting patterns, and solidarity activities taking place at Hungarian border sites can demonstrate different types of resilience as a process and over time. The cases highlight that resilience may be manifest as reactions to both multiple slow disruptions and sudden single disruptions. The study is therefore an answer to calls for contextualized approaches that also consider the crisscrossing of various scales and bounded entities, in contrast to more rigid, ‘placeless’ benchmarking measurements. The overall inquiry highlights how applying a process-based approach to resilience, also accounting for values and political resistance, help uncover developments in borderlands that may otherwise remain unearthed. 

  • 35.
    Svensson, Sara
    et al.
    Central European University, Budapest, Hungary.
    Cartwright, Andrew
    Central European University, Budapest, Hungary.
    Challenges to participatory governance in solidarity initiatives and social enterprises: the case of Hungary2018In: 3rd EMES-Polanyi International Seminar: Welfare societies in transition, 2018Conference paper (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    As echoed in the Call for Papers to this conference, the literature on solidarity economy and social enterprises has emphasized the importance of more dialogue between the global ‘North’ and global ‘South’ on practices and knowledge related to solidarity economy, social innovation and social enterprise. We start from the assumption that there is a similar lack of dialogue across Europe’s different realities, with especially Eastern practitioners and scholars missing from European and global forums of debate. 

    This paper offers a self-reflective analysis of research on solidarity initiatives carried out in Hungary within the framework of the EU-funded project “Solidarity in European Societies: Empowerment, Social Justice and Citizenship”. The paper starts with presenting findings derived from ten case studies spanning five policy areas (access to housing, education for vulnerable minorities, refugee support, mental health and local food provision/rural development) focusing on whether participatory governance was a characteristic and/or conducive factor for success. It then analyses the extent to whether large-scale European collaborative research projects may push certain ideas and narratives onto contexts for which they are not suitable, and the consequences thereof. Our central argument based on this double analysis is that the Hungarian case studies do not support the notion that participatory governance is a precondition for social enterprises and solidarity economy initiatives to strive.

  • 36.
    Svensson, Sara
    et al.
    Central European University, Budapest, Hungary.
    Cartwright, Andrew
    Central European University, Budapest, Hungary.
    Balogh, Peter
    Central European University, Budapest, Hungary.
    Solidarity at the Border: The organization of spontaneous support for transiting refugees in two Hungarian towns in the summer of 20152017Report (Other academic)
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  • 37.
    Svensson, Sara
    et al.
    Halmstad University, School of Education, Humanities and Social Science.
    Karlsson, Peter
    Halmstad University, School of Health and Welfare.
    The measurement of belief in conspiracy theories in a national context: a systematic literature review and methodological discussion 2022Conference paper (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    As pointed out by the political scientist Josef Uscinski conspiracy theories are about power, who has power and what they do with it when no one sees (Uscinski 2019, 48). Political scientists paid scant attention to conspiracy theories for a long time, though, due to the disciplinary focus on rational choice theory making it hard to accept voters as non-rational actors (Butter and Knight 2019, 37). This has changed in recent years though, to the extent that conspiracy theories can be called a fashionable subject for research, akin to populism and right-wing radicalism. The research has been inspired by empirical developments in the US (especially the presidency of Donald Trump 2016-2020) and US research methods and approaches often dominate, for instance when it comes to operationalizing and measurement of conspiracy theories. This paper does two things. First, it seeks to give an overview of what we know about conspiracy theories in the national context of Sweden and internationally, based on a bibliometric and thematic analysis of 1100 abstracts. Secondly, the paper uses a political science perspective to discuss a pilot project to translate and use the Generic Conspiracist Beliefs Scale (Brotherton et al 2013) at Halmstad University. Specific focus is put on connotations to the term “government” and how translation may impact answers in Swedish. 

  • 38.
    Svensson, Sara
    et al.
    Halmstad University, School of Education, Humanities and Social Science.
    Keller, Judit
    Eötvös Loránd Research Network, Center for Economic and Regional Studies, Institute for Regional Studies, Budapest, Hungary.
    Editorial: Challenges to Local Democracy: Democratization Efforts and Democratic Backsliding at the Sub-national Level2022In: Frontiers in Political Science, E-ISSN 2673-3145, Vol. 4, article id 857310Article in journal (Refereed)
  • 39.
    Svensson, Sara
    et al.
    Halmstad University, School of Education, Humanities and Social Science, Centrum för lärande, kultur och samhälle (CLKS).
    Molema, Marijn
    Frisian Institute of Social Research, Leeuwarden, Netherlands & Fryske Akademy, Leeuwarden, Netherlands.
    The importance of history for regional economic development2020In: Regional Economic Development and History / [ed] Marijn Molema & Sara Svensson, Abingdon: Routledge, 2020, p. 11-18Chapter in book (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Regional Studies is inextricably intertwined with history. Cultural and institutional legacies inform choices between different policy options, meaning that the past plays a crucial role in how we think about regional economic development, planning and policy.

    Through a selection of accessible theoretical, methodological and empirical chapters, this book explores the connections between regional development and history. Drawing on the expertise of scholars in several disciplines, it links history to topics such as behavioural geography, interdependence, divergence and regional and urban policy.

    This innovative book will be of interest to researchers across regional studies, planning, economic geography and economic history.

  • 40.
    Svensson, Sara
    et al.
    Halmstad University, School of Education, Humanities and Social Science.
    Molnar, Andras
    Central European University, Vienna, Austria; University of Pécs, Pécs, Hungary.
    Batory, Agnes
    Central European University, Vienna, Austria.
    (e-)Participation and propaganda: The mix of old and new technology in Hungarian national consultations2022In: Engaging Citizens in Policy Making: e-Participation Practices in Europe / [ed] Tiina Randma-Liiv; Veiko Lember, Cheltenham: Edward Elgar Publishing, 2022, p. 56-70Chapter in book (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This chapter provides a case study of the use of online platforms for national consultations that target all citizens in Hungary. The Hungarian government, since 2010 led by the national-conservative populist party Fidesz, has carried out what is the most extensive series of consultations in contemporary Europe if measured by the share of citizens involved. The consultations are dominantly conducted by questionnaires that are printed and mailed by the postal service to all citizens, but recent consultations have also offered an online platform. Drawing on previous research on what happens when populist actors employ and institutionalize participatory methods, the chapter extends the inquiry to include the use of an electronic platform. Findings of this work shows that the online component has so far not led to new dynamics, and to the limited extent that it had any effect, it has largely been negative in terms of procedural guarantees. Due to the weakness of technology to prevent abuse, the online version of the consultation eroded rather than enhanced the credibility of the consultation process. The case study serves as a cautionary tale to those believing that e-participation practices ‘by default’ lead to superior normative and/or policy outcomes. 

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  • 41.
    Svensson, Sara
    et al.
    Halmstad University, School of Education, Humanities and Social Science.
    Nilson, Tomas
    Halmstad University, School of Education, Humanities and Social Science.
    European Memory Politics in Scandinavia – the Case of a Swedish-Danish Border Region2023In: Journal of European Integration History, ISSN 0947-9511, Vol. 29, no 1, p. 111-133Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The article analyzes how history is used in the Danish-Swedish crossborder Öresund area. The case study allows for an exploration of memory politics with relation to multiple regional processes (EU, Nordic, Scandinavian), as well as from multiple perspectives (national, subnational and transnational). The article argues that the Nordic arena is in the focus of communicative and cultural memories through storytelling, with emphasis on solidarity and successful institution-building. Yet, conflicting national memories persist as obstacles and current diverting political standpoints at national level (e.g., migration, the Covid pandemic) are likely to affect how history is portrayed regionally. European history, on the other hand, plays a subservient role. For instance, references to the European continent’s totalitarian past are not explicitly used for memory politics, and recollection of the world wars are used in asymmetric modes and with focus on the specific Nordic experience.

  • 42.
    Svensson, Sara
    et al.
    Central European University, Budapest, Hungary.
    Nordlund, Carl
    Central European University, Budapest, Hungary.
    The Building Blocks of a Euroregion: novel Metrics to Measure Cross-border Integration2015In: Journal of European Integration, ISSN 0703-6337, E-ISSN 1477-2280, Vol. 37, no 3, p. 371-389Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The article explores how the notion of European integration at the local level can be conceptualized and measured. Based on a process-oriented inclusive understanding of integration and using relational datasets that maps both domestic and cross-border communication ties among political representatives in four Euroregions along the borders of Hungary–Slovakia and Sweden–Norway, we begin by applying and theoretically dissecting network-analytical metrics based on frequency of ties. Despite finding that such measures capture analytically relevant properties of political cross-border networks, we argue that they are less than ideal for capturing the notion of political integration. Instead, with inspiration from the blockmodeling tradition in network analysis, we propose two novel metrics—cross-border connectivity and integrational overfitting. These metrics not only enrich our understanding of political integration in cross-border settings but also can serve as useful mapping tools for policy-makers. A software client enabling the analysis of these measures supplements this article. © 2014, Taylor & Francis.

  • 43.
    Svensson, Sara
    et al.
    Central European University, Budapest, Ungern.
    Ocskay, GyulaCESCI Budapest Observatory of Borders, Budapest, Ungern.
    Overview of the EGTCs around Hungary2015Collection (editor) (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    CESCI has published the most comprehensive analysis so far on the functioning of the EGTCs involving Hungarian members. The volume edited by Sara Svensson (CEU) and Gyula Ocskay (CESCI) treats the legal, economic and social conditions of the functioning of the EGTCs, gives an overview on the history of the governmental policies supporting the groupings and within an evaluating chapter it summarizes the results the groupings have achieved so far.

    Authors of the volume: Roland HESZ, Norbert JANKAI, Mátyás JASCHITZ, Gyula OCSKAY and Sara SVENSSON. The maps are plotted by Éva GANGL, the figures are drawn by Kitti DUBNICZKI who was also in charge of the design and editing of the volume. The book has published with the financial support of the Hungarian Prime Minister’s Office in 300 examples.

  • 44.
    Svensson, Sara
    et al.
    Central European University, Budapest, Ungern.
    Öjehag, Andreas
    Karlstads Universitet, Karlstad, Sverige.
    Politik bortom gränsen: globala trender och lokala realiteter2012In: På gränsen: Interaktion, attraktivitet och globalisering i Inre Skandinavien / [ed] Eva Olsson, Atle Hauge & Birgitta Ericsson, Karlstad: Karlstad University Press, 2012, p. 269-284Chapter in book (Other academic)
  • 45.
    Szalai, Júlia
    et al.
    Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Central European University, Budapest, Hungary.
    Svensson, Sara
    Central European University, Budapest, Hungary.
    On Civil Society and the Social Economy in Hungary2018In: Intersections. East European Journal of Society and Politics, E-ISSN 2416-089X, Vol. 4, no 4, p. 107-124Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    While the development of civil society organisations in Hungary has been impressive in terms of number and diversity, its influence has remained limited on policy-making. Administrative attempts to draw civil society under tight regulation and control have produced a blurring of the boundaries between the civil and the public spheres that, in turn, has impaired the independent voice and criticism of civil society. Therefore, economic acts based on solidarity and originating from civil society do not automatically form or increase a ‘social economy’ but become as contested by and as intermingled with political developments as other acts of civil society. This development also has affected the profile of civil activities: against the earlier impressive weight of anti-poverty, anti-racist and human rights engagements, the ‘non-risky’ activities of sports and leisure services have come to domination. A turn toward declining participation is a warning sign of the decreasing contribution of civil society to everyday democracy.

  • 46.
    Telle, Stefan
    et al.
    Central European University, Budapest, Hungary.
    Svensson, Sara
    Central European University, Budapest, Hungary.
    An organizational ecology approach to EGTC creation in East Central Europe2020In: Regional & Federal Studies, ISSN 1359-7566, E-ISSN 1743-9434, Vol. 30, no 1, p. 47-71Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    European Groupings of Territorial Cooperation (EGTC) are a legal instrument intended to facilitate institutional cross-border cooperation. Launched in 2006, EGTC creation was particularly swift in East Central Europe, albeit with significant variation between different border regions. The article adopts an organizational ecology perspective to explain this variation and argues that the level of organizational density inside a cross-border ecological niche is crucial for EGTC creation. The analysis draws on policy documents and semi-structured interviews with key stakeholders from four border areas in East Central Europe. It finds that lower levels of organizational density in unitary states constitute a favourable organizational environment for EGTC creation. However, rather than enhancing autonomous decision-making in the border region, we find evidence that unitary state support for EGTC creation reflects a political strategy to centralize control over cross-border cooperation. © 2019 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.

  • 47.
    van der Zwet, Arno
    et al.
    University of the West of Scotland, Blantyre, United Kingdom.
    Svensson, Sara
    Central European University, Budapest, Hungary.
    Molema, Marijn
    Fryske Akademy Leeuwarden/Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences, Amsterdam, the Netherlands.
    Report on the 5th workshop of the RSA research network on Regional Economic and Policy History2018Other (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    While border areas are often portrayed as peripheries (Stoddard 1991), in the European Union many urban centers are located in close proximity to national borders. Since the 1950s,there has been increasing policy activity in suchborder regions. Through associations of municipalities, regions and private actors, often through so called Euroregions (Perkmann2003), local actors have formed collaborative governance arrangements to solve joint policy problems, pursue common normative ideals or simply to utilize available funds (Svensson 2013). This paper exploresthe extent to which urban cross-borderand inter-regionalarrangements wereable to connect actors in collaborative frameworks to drive economic development (policy). First, the paper shows that parallel to economic and political integration in Europe, urban regionsincreasinglybegan to beseenas engines of economic growth. Second, the paperreviewsthe collaborative governance literature and adapts the insights to the question of how urban economic development may benefit from collaboration.Third, the paper uses project data on cross-border and interregional cooperation intwo European capital city regions in proximity to a national border: Vienna and Copenhagen. We focus on projectscovering two themes: economic cooperation and governance.The analysis evaluates how cooperation evolved over the last three programming periods. Next, it evaluates differences and similarities in objectives and project structures (number and type of partners, funding, governance) between cross-border and interregional. Finally, concerning outcomes, the paper analyses severalprojects in depth regarding impact, learning and sustainability. Drawing on the analytical framework derived from the review of the collaborative governance literature, it asks to what extent have these initiatives engaged actors from different (vertical) levels and to what extent have they successfully incorporatedhorizontal (non-governmental) actors in horizontal networks? In doing so, what role has the objective ofeconomic development playedin specific arrangements, what are the concrete measuresplanned and implemented, what are the outcomes,andwhat can be learnedfrom this experiencefor the development of collaborative multi-level governance arrangements?The key proposition of the paper is that there is much to learn from past attempts at collaborativeurbangovernance,both in terms of failures and successes. The experienceofcomplexcross-jurisdictional and cross-sectoralgovernance settingsmakes thempotential role modelsfor innovative economicdevelopment policies. At the same time,practical obstacles and failures to live up to expectationsalso show their value as both negative and positive precedents.

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