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managerial benefits are not fulfilled. The notable factor from a political perspective is the conservation of municipal discretion, but with the opposite effect to that originally intended. Similarly, from the political and legal perspectives, unanticipated effects occur.
This study leads to the conclusion that decision-making concerning inter- municipal cooperation is mainly influenced by the managerial perspective, with the emphasis being placed on quality, cost and (reduced) vulnerability. Decision makers do take the political perspective into account, but merely pre- conditional. The focus is on avoiding undesirable effects (e.g., loss of political control) rather than accomplishing positive effects. The legal perspective appears to play no role whatsoever and the social perspective only plays a role of some significance in one municipality with this only occurring a few years after the joint organisation had been formed. These findings reinforce assertions in the literature on public administration, namely that municipalities are mainly influenced by managerial considerations when they decide to form an inter-municipal organisation.
The study indicates that the desired effects on effectiveness and efficiency are scarcely attained. A positive effect on continuity and the reduction of vulnerability is only established for smaller municipalities with fewer than 20,000 inhabitants. Furthermore, the most important precondition, namely the conservation of municipal policy freedom, is formally met but not substantively realised. In considering perspectives other than the managerial dimension, evidence was found of several effects that were unintended and were not taken into account during the decision-making processes. From a political point of view, freedom in policymaking as well as democratic legitimation processes were threatened or reduced. Seen from a legal vantage point, there is evidence, on the one hand, of greater equality of individual rights within the territory of the participating municipalities and on the other hand the risk of a more technocratic approach to interpretation of rights. From a social standpoint hardly any changed outcomes have been revealed.
What insights does the study reveal that can be applied to current developments in public administration? Inter-municipal cooperation is still

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