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Completed project

Local referendums

Project period January 2017 - September 2017
Project employer Ministry of Local Government and Modernisation
Project nr. 10192

Project Background

217 local referendums have been held in Norwegian municipalities, in order to explore public opinion on municipal amalgamation. This has led to a discussion of referendums as a democratic tool.

Questions have been raised about the practical implementation of such referendums, and whether there is a need for national guidelines.

Project Approach

The project mapped and discussed various aspects of local referendums on municipal amalgamation, and the role of referendums in municipal decision-making more generally.


The project included seven sub-projects, in which different types of data and methods are used:

  1. A research-based overview of the use of local referendums
  2. Analysis of existing data on the referendums that have been held
  3. Carrying out and analysing an online survey to the municipalities that have held referendums
  4. Analysis of qualitative interviews from a project on the Municipal Reform
  5. Analysis and discussion of the electoral system (methods of alternative voting)
  6. Analysis of survey data from the Norwegian Citizen Panel
  7. A discussion of issues concerning the legitimacy of referendums

The project collaborated closely with – and utilized data from – the project Reshaping the Map of Local and Regional Self-Government. A study of the Norwegian Local Government Reform (NLGR) processes 2014-2019.


Lokale folkeavstemninger om kommunesammenslåing: Praksis og prinsipper, Jo Saglie og Signe Bock Segaard, report 2017:08 (in Norwegian)


ParticipantDegree PhoneE-mail
Tor Bjørklund Affiliated Researcher Dr. philos. +47 408 99 922
Jo Saglie Research Professor Dr. polit. +47 991 62 131
Signe Bock Segaard Senior Research Fellow PhD +47 994 28 724
Jan Erling Klausen
Morten Werring
Bjarte Folkestad
Tags: Elections and Democracy
Published Jan. 16, 2017 10:57 AM - Last modified May 16, 2018 11:03 AM