In recent years, governing through partnerships has become more and more common and is today reflected in a
range of policy areas. In the following article, governing through partnerships is analyzed in the context of Swedish politics
and two policy areas (regional and urban policy) where the notion of partnership has had particularly large impact.
Since each policy area deals with specific issues, the idea of partnership is framed in different ways. However, there are
common features. In both of these policy areas, consensus and cooperation, adaptation and flexibility, entrepreneurship
and development, bottom-up and local mobilization are political core values, albeit with a slightly different emphasis.
With the idea of governing through partnerships, the political landscape is redrawn. The role of the State, for instance, is
increasingly to leave room for various voluntary and independent actors and associations, to co-ordinate and interact, as a
partner, among others, rather than directing society “from above”.