On behalf of Distriktssenteret, will Ruralis – Institute for Rural and Regional Research conduct research of (1) political organization before and after municipality amalgamations, (2) arrangements for local democracy and citizenship before and after such mergers and (3) examine citizens' perception of current arrangements for participation.

In part 1 of the assignment, will Ruralis investigate the political organization before and after municipality amalgamations in seven amalgamated municipalities: Harstad (formerly Harstad and Bjarkøy), Bodø (former Bodø and Skjærstad), Inderøy (former Inderøy and Mosvik), Kristiansund (formerly Kristiansund and Frei ), Re (formerly Ramnes and Våle) and Vindafjord (formerly Ølen and Vindafjord). Here we will investigate what changes in political organization have occurred and how has this been justified.

In part two of the project, Ruralis will investigate arrangements for local democracy and citizen involvement that are used in these seven merged municipalities. Here is the task of describing the schemes, investigating the purposes for which they are taking care and what effects / results the schemes have given the municipality and the inhabitants.

In part three, Ruralis will conduct a survey among citizens of Bodø municipality, Kristiansund municipality, Aure municipality and Vindafjord municipality. The survey will measure the citizens’ perceptions of today’s systems for population involvement.

Part 1 and Part 2 of the assignment must be completed by 15 June. Part 3 of the assignment shall be completed until 19 October 2018.

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