Whose mayor? Representational roles in local politics

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


The collapse of the communist regimes in East-Central Europe entailed profound changes in systems of local government. Local democracy and decentralisation became an integral part of the transformations that took place. A basic critique of the old regime concerned its undemocratic nature at all levels of government. At the local level elected bodies were created more by nominations than by competitive elections between candidates advocating different policies. And important issues were mostly decided at the central level.1 Local leaders were more dependent upon central party and governmental organs than on local citizens. The introduction of new organs at the local level made open political competition possible, and the establishment of more decentralised relations between the central and local level changed the formal system. One would assume that the orientations of local leaders and whom they feel dependent upon go together. So when leaders through competition become more dependent upon voters they will tend to orient themselves towards them. In this article I shall analyse two aspects of such orientations of mayors from the Czech Republic, Poland and Slovakia, namely how local mayors regard their focus and style of representation in local government.


Czech Republic Local Politics Direct Democracy Political Parti Polish Citizen 
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