Frikommuner som styringsteknologi

Mikkel Egeberg Rasmussen & Christian Rønberg

Student thesis: Master thesis


Since the 1990’s, the debate concerning public management in Denmark has had a growing focus on innovation. This is considered important by the government, because there is concern for maintaining a quality welfare system without putting the economy at risk. Due to the Finance Act of 2011, the former Danish government alongside of “Dansk Folkeparti” and ”Kristendemokraterne” launched an experiment in cooperation with various independent municipalities, which was inspired by recent reforms aimed at reducing bureaucracy in local government . It was agreed upon to set nine selected municipalities free from a number of legislative measures. This was carried out in order to gain insight into newer possibilities concerning government regulation and the municipalities organization of tasks. The idea of the extensive project, as the experiment with independent municipalities is, is to ensure the testing and development of new ways to manage and organize citizen-focused service. The experiment represents a departure from unnecessary process requirements and documentation based on routines. The nine municipalities should ideally be able to fulfill their responsibilities in a smarter and less bureaucratic fashion, so that employees have more time for municipal core functions related to schools, children and the elderly. A strong element of this experiment is the provision of increased space for administrative leadership, with a focus on the needs of citizens and high professional quality. This thesis analyzes this experiment with the independent municipalities using Foucault's analytics of power. With this theory, it is analyzed how the experiment with independent municipalities creates new types of knowledge, subject positions and forms of power. It is examined whether the experiment has a positive effect by looking at the space for management the experiment creates. The thesis is founded in the maneuverability the independent municipalities have been given by the opportunity to rethink management. Therefore the thesis contributes to the debate about these challenges related to public management.

EducationsMSocSc in Political Communication and Managment, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2014
Number of pages99