Digital cooperation in the Baltic Sea region: a case of networked multi-level governance
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The rapid advancement and implementation of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) has made the ‘digital world’ an inseparable part of contemporary societies. We have e-commerce, e-democracy, e-administration and e-‘just about anything’. Underlying these digital solutions is the understanding of a borderless and networked world with more and more decentralized states. Globalization pressures thus have the states thinking how to harness the potential of ICTs while upholding their core values. The answer seems to lie in learning how to collectively construct the information society – through horizontal and vertical, transnational and sub-national cooperation. As such, societies are increasingly moving towards polycentric forms of governance that span across state borders and help to accommodate the complexity of modern challenges. This thesis explores how globalization pressures facilitate the diffusion of power in the example of digital cooperation in the Baltic Sea Region (BSR), exploring how it has emerged and what it is like in this day and age. For this, a theoretical synthesis is developed between the concepts of regionalism, digitization and multi-level governance, serving as an analytical framework for advancing the central case study. Through a combination of methods including process-tracing and expert interviewing, the thesis will explore digital cooperation networks in the BSR so to arrive at a wider understanding of the emerging multi-level governance model in the regional digital agenda.