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The values of local democracy as seen by mayors in East-Central Europe

Chapter
Part of the Urban Research International book series (URI, volume 2)

Abstract

Why is local government important? Why is it valued? Why does it persist even into the post-modern world? Why was it that structures of local democracy were among the first reforms to be introduced in the post-communist era? Across two different basic concepts of local governments (natural — arguing that the existence of local government is “natural” for communities —, and functional — arguing that local government is useful because it helps the state to function better), scholars often point to three basic values that the structures of local government may fulfil (see for ex. Sharpe 1993, Stewart and Greenwood 1995):
  • liberty (autonomy) — the existence of local government prevents over-concentration of political power and also allows for different political choices in different localities;

  • participation (democracy) — the existence of local governments encourage the inclusion of citizens in governance;

  • effectiveness — local governments are efficient structures for the delivery of services tailored to the varying needs of different localties.

Keywords

Local Government Public Choice Local Priority Citizen Involvement Polish Municipality 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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© Springer Fachmedien Wiesbaden 2003

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