The POLYGOV project is a comparative study of the crisis management, organisation and functioning of local democracies in Iceland, Norway, Sweden, Finland and Denmark against the backdrop of the divergent handling of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The project compares the local and regional coordination and management strategies employed as the pandemic has unfolded from March 2020 to date, including the vaccination strategies. The project is funded by the Research Council of Norway and runs from September 2021 to August 2024.

Primary objective: 
To identify differences in the Nordic countries’ handling of the COVID-19 pandemic and the outcomes thereof to compare and analyze these differences to legal arrangements, public governance and organization. 

Secondary objectives:

1) Legal: Examine the implementation of measures and injunctions to manage the pandemic with a special emphasis on the distribution of authority between the national, regional and local levels in Nordic countries.

2) Public Health: Examine cross-national, cross-regional and cross-municipal differences in the effects of COVID-19 and infection control measures on population health.

3) Public Governance: Examine political and administrative leadership and the citizens' experience of management and the legitimacy of crisis measures in the Nordic local public sector.

4) Organizational: Examine organization and in particular networks on regional and local levels in Nordic countries, including plans and the succeeding handling of the crisis.

Work Packages

WP 1: 
A Legal focus on regulations adopted by the Nordic municipal councils.

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WP 2: 
Public Health

A Public Health focus on the infection control and vaccine measures. 

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WP 3: Governance

A Public Governance focus on political and administrative leadership. 

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WP 4: Organization

An Organisational focus on how governance structures
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Project Leaders

To carry out the project, we have developed a research team consisting of highly experienced academics from nine Nordic universities.

The team has been selected based on significant and relevant experience in research on Nordic democracy and public administration at different levels of government; interdisciplinary understanding and experience (i.e. in the fields of political science, leadership, sociology, public health, economy, law and technology); and methodological diversity, that is, solid capabilities in advanced quantitative and qualitative data collection and analysis. 
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Sigrid Stokstad

Head legal team (WP1)

Kristian Heggebø

Head public health team (WP2)

Morten Øgård

Head public governance team (WP3)

Are Vegard Haug

Head organisational team (WP4)