Between Identity Politics and the Politics of Scale: Sub-municipal Governance in Greece

  • Nikos Hlepas
Part of the Governance and Public Management book series (GPM)


This chapter discusses the evolution of sub-municipal governance in Greece, which has been top-down conceptualized and implemented. Starting from big cities and the “participatory euphoria” of the eighties, sub-municipal institutions increased spectacularly by numbers with the two major waves of amalgamations in 1998 and 2010. Top-down conceived and imposed, initially differentiating big cities and rural areas, these institutions developed in a muddling through manner that created a complex situation. For the biggest part, sub-municipal institutions were supposed to facilitate comprehensive amalgamation reforms and to compensate for the loss of municipal independence. We argue that these institutions are trapped between identity politics and the politics of scale. Local authorities are reluctant to intra-municipal decentralization, often restricting sub-municipal entities to symbolisms. The lack of meaningful representation at the sub-municipal level is already leading to visible disintegration in many cases and to restrain from local politics. Therefore, a reform debate was initiated, but the final outcome remains an open question.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nikos Hlepas
    • 1
  1. 1.Faculty of Political Science and Public AdministrationNational and Kapodistrian University of AthensAthensGreece

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