The fundamental idea of this comparative research project is to investigate the significance of local governments' service delivery and performance as a basis for the legitimacy they aquire. Through a combination of extensive survey analysis and case stud ies, the project investigates local elected representatives', administrative staffs' and citizens' perceptions of local government input and output based legitimacy in two different national contexts (Norway and Sweden). Input legitimacy will depart from the values of liberal democracy and measures like trust in elected representatives, belief in the importance of transparency and similar procedural characteristics, while output legitimacy will be based in the actors view on corruption, discrimination and similar violations of the principle of impartiality as well as service satisfaction, view on service flexibility and efficiency. We analyze to what extent legitimacy generated at the output side of the political system (or by performance) supports more t raditional forms of legitimacy based in democratic representation and accountability or, conversely, whether output based legitimacy poses a challenge to the latter. Focus is on the consequences of public management reform and governance on public support for traditional forms of input based democratic government.