Fiscal Decentralisation, Local Government and Policy Reversals in Southeastern Europe

  • William Bartlett
  • Sanja Kmezić
  • Katarina Đulić

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xxii
  2. Europeanisation and the Political Economy of Decentralisation

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 19-19
    2. Boštjan Brezovnik, Mateja Finžgar, Žan Jan Oplotnik
      Pages 21-52
    3. Anto Bajo, Marko Primorac
      Pages 53-80
  3. Crisis, Policy Reversals, and Local Government Debt

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 81-81
    2. Sanja Kmezić, Katarina Đulić
      Pages 83-121
    3. Jadranka Kaluđerović, Mijat Jocović
      Pages 123-161
    4. Halko Basarić, Nina Branković, Lejla Lazović-Pita
      Pages 163-199
  4. Local Governments in Transition and the Political Economy of Ethnicity

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 201-201
    2. Adem Beha, Anton Vukpalaj
      Pages 231-264
  5. Albania: Struggling with the Legacy of Extreme Centralisation

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 265-265
    2. Elton Stafa, Merita Xhumari
      Pages 267-294
  6. Conclusions

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 295-295
    2. Katarina Đulić, Sanja Kmezić, William Bartlett
      Pages 297-322
  7. Back Matter
    Pages 323-327

About this book


This edited collection provides a comprehensive geographic and chronological overview of the decentralisation processes in the successor states of former Yugoslavia and Albania during their transition and EU integration years, from 1990 until 2016. These countries present a unique laboratory for the analysis of economic, social and political change, having traversed armed conflicts, dramatic economic and political changes, and EU pre-accession processes involving deep institutional reform. They have also endured the Eurozone crisis, which has led to high levels of unemployment, wide fiscal gaps and dangerously high levels of indebtedness.

Observing the quarter century-long transition from socialism to capitalism through the prism of decentralisation sheds new light on studying the political economy of the region and the current status of the individual countries in terms of economic development and their EU integration progress. The contributors enrich the wider literature on fiscal decentralisation in transition countries by exploring several broad questions on democratisation, the political economy of post-communist transition, the role of external actors in policy transfer and the issue of financial stability in the post-crisis period. 

William Bartlett is Visiting Senior Research Fellow at the London School of Economics and Political Science, UK. He is coordinator of the LSEE Research Network on Social Cohesion in South East Europe and has carried out numerous research and consultancy projects, including those for the European Commission, the European Parliament, the Council of Europe, the European Training Foundation, UNDP and UNICEF.

Sanja Kmezić is Lecturer at the Karl Franzens University of Graz, Austria. Kmezić is a co-founder of the non-profit think tank European Research Academy Belgrade (EURAK), Serbia and has worked as an advisor on various international development programmes aimed at local government and public administration reform.

Katarina Đulić is Associate Professor at the Faculty of Economics, Finance and Administration in Belgrade, Serbia. She is also a co-founder of EURAK and has carried out numerous consultancy projects for the International Finance Corporation, USAID and SECO aimed at governance and public financial management reform.


Fiscal decentralisation Administrative decentralisation Political decentralisation Functional decentralisation Economic governance Political economy of Southeastern Europe Transition economics Economics of former Yugoslavia Fiscal policy in the Eurozone Local Government Finance Local Government debt Fiscal data Albanian economics Economics of Bosnia and Herzegovina Croatian economics Economics of Kosovo Macedonian economics Economics of Montenegro Serbian economics Slovenian economics

Editors and affiliations

  • William Bartlett
    • 1
  • Sanja Kmezić
    • 2
  • Katarina Đulić
    • 3
  1. 1.London School of Economics and Political ScienceEuropean InstituteLondonUK
  2. 2.University of GrazGrazAustria
  3. 3.Faculty of Economics, Finance and AdministrationBelgradeSerbia

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