Conference proceedings article

Who has the last laugh? : About the entrepreneurial politician as an unconventional problem solver


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Undertitel: About the entrepreneurial politician as an unconventional problem solver

Författarlista: Brandum Granqvist, Meeri

Publikationsår: 2008


Politicians as well as entrepreneurs are surrounded by random preconceived notions, some that when you look closely turn out to be incorrect and others that turn out to be rather close to the real picture. In the rather widely debated issue of contempt towards politicians the traditional politician has been described as a person who says one thing but does another. The entrepreneur on the other hand is described by many as curious, creative, independent, devoted, optimistic and visionary.

This paper will put the entrepreneurial politician in focus and study if and how the political evolution is affected when the politicians act more according to the stereotype of an entrepreneur than that of a politician. It will put the entrepreneurial political into context.

The empirical material will be constituted by the study of a number of municipal politicians active in two municipalities in Norway (Lierne and Røyrvik) and parts of two municipalities in Sweden (Frostviken and Hotagen). These study objects were chosen due to the fact that there is an ongoing project in the region in question where the four entities together are involved in a cross-national attempt to solve rather traditional peripherality issues. What separates these politicians from other politicians in demographically and economically challenged municipalities is how they have made an attempt to think “outside of the box”. They have used a different rhetoric and an unconventional way of thinking about problem solving. These politicians are visionaries, dreamers and acteurs who have decided to take the measures necessary to stop the downward spiral of development in their home regions.

In the cases that will be examined it has also been possible to find actors that directly or indirectly have opposed the work in progress or have regarded it with scepticism and/or indifference. But who will have the last laugh? Will it be the entrepreneurial politician who sees his home district rise above its difficulties or will it be the sceptical spectator?


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