Political fragmentation and “The purple zone”: how party fragmentation affects political–administrative relations
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Original versionJacobsen, D. I. (2023). Political fragmentation and “The purple zone”: how party fragmentation affects political–administrative relations. Local Government Studies, 1-20. https://doi.org/10.1080/03003930.2023.2264798
A good cooperative relationship between politics and administration is essential to good governance and efficient decision making in public organisations. This study of the cooperative relationship is based on the notion that politics and administration is intertwined, making interaction between politicians and administrators necessary. The study focuses on how political fragmentation affects cooperative relations between politics and administration. Using data from both Norwegian mayors and municipal directors (436 respondents from 303 municipalities), the effects of three different types of political fragmentation are investigated: number of political parties in council and the steering coalition, the Laakso-Taagepera index, and ideological distance between parties. The findings indicate that cooperative relationships get worse with increasing ideological distance and improves with political fragmentation in the council under the conditions of divided government (political parties in the steering coalition spanning both sides of the left–right dimensions). Implications for the study of political–administrative relations are discussed.