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Towards normalisation of local democracy in East-Central Europe. A developmental approach to institutional reform

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

Abstract

The introduction of new institutions of local democracy was an inherent and important part of the comprehensive reforms of the early 1990s in East-Central Europe. How did the local experiments turn out? The first period of local democracy (ca 1990–94) was marked by all the challenges of the immediate post-communist environments (Coulson 1995). A large proportion of elected representatives as well as administrators were new to their jobs. The new institutions presented unfamiliar requirements. The first period was not only one of high expectations but also one of learning and adaptation for officials and citizens alike. The learning experience could be seen to vary from shock therapy through quiet resignation to stepwise mastery of local politics and management (Surazska 1997). What was the experience like during the second period, five, six or seven years on? Did a period of normalisation set in, with everyday local democracy, boring management of mundane services, the usual log-rolling among councillors, and the professional frustrations with higher authorities? In short, did local governments in East-Central Europe become increasingly similar to their West European counterparts in their functioning and agendas?

Keywords

Local Government Community Relation Council Meeting Municipal Employee Administrative Problem 
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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