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Regional identitet till salu: Kommuners inställning till varumärkesplattformen i Värmlandsstrategin
Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Department of Geography, Media and Communication.
2015 (Swedish)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesisAlternative title
Regional identity for sale : Municipalities attitudes towards the brand platform in Värmlandsstrategin (English)
Abstract [en]

In this thesis the relation between municipalities and regional unions is examined. The starting point for the research is the regional identity that is used in regions’ development planning. The approach and attitudes towards it from the municipal level towards the regional level are examined. Musings about the regional identity or brand platform as it is called in the regions development planning, and whether or how it is accepted in the municipalities are the starting point for this thesis. The research questions are:

1. How is the regional identity that is used by the regional planning document received and perceived on municipal level? 2. What is the approach due to?

• How do the municipalities perceive their collaboration with the region in general?

• Can the approach be linked to the circumstances in the municipalities? These questions are meant to help this research to reach its aim, which is to examine how municipalities are affected by and how they receive and approach the regional identity used in the regions’ development planning. The Swedish region Värmland is used as case in this work. To answer the research questions and to reach the aim, four interviews were implemented. Three of them were with representatives från three different municipalities, while the third was with a representative from the regional union. Additionally, an examination of some documents that are central for the research was conducted to complete the research. During the research, it was made clear that the municipalities’ general approach towards branding and towards the regional union itself was crucial for the research. Hence, these themes became especially important in the empirical part of this work. The research is built on hermeneutical tradition, with focus on interpreting on every level and every stage, and also the characteristically commuting movement between parts and the whole which came to pass throughout the research. In the analysis a plurality of different conclusions was reached. There are clear differences between the municipalities’ attitudes, especially in the question about branding there was different confidence in the regions’ plans. The municipalities had in common that all of them said that the regional branding wasn’t central in their daily work. The same also applied for the regional planning document and regional questions in general. The municipalities consider themselves not having enough time to approach these questions properly, instead they have ’reality’ on their hands which means they have to prioritize questions that need more urgent solving. The regions’ branding and the regional strategy generally is seen as fuzzy and impractical by the municipality politicians, at the same time they have great understanding for the regional union’s difficult job so they generally accept that a regional development plan has to be broad. The main problem that is identified in this thesis is that the municipalities have difficulties applying this broad document on their specific cases and the distance between them and the regional union (and help in other words) is too far and without any aids to bridge it. This became apparent in the empirical material which was collected both from the municipalities but also from the interview with the representative from the regional union. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. , 72 p.
Keyword [sv]
Region, Regional planering, utvecklingsplanering, Regionförbund, Kommunalförbund, Kommuner

National Category
Other Social Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-38439OAI: diva2:872629
Subject / course
Human Geography
Educational program
Master Programme in Region Building, 120 hp
Available from: 2015-11-25 Created: 2015-11-19 Last updated: 2015-11-25Bibliographically approved

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