The article deals with the evolution of the regional policy in the UK whose traditions in this respect are the richest among West European countries. Its genesis is linked with attempts to reduce unemployment in industrialised regions. It is commonly agreed that state interventionism in regional development began with the publication of the Special Areas Development and Improvement Act of 1934 which covered Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland, and northern England. The article focuses on the assumptions behind the regional policy, its objectives, scope, instruments used, and institutions responsible for its implementation indicating changes made by subsequent Conservative and Labour governments. While the former restricted the scope and volume of support in aid of assisted areas, the latter did the opposite. The regional policy defined and modified by the European Community plays a significant role in determining its shape as much as deregulation, reinforcement of the regional tier itself, predominance of social matters over economic ones as well affective and selective nature of support.
Tadeusz Stalewski, Adam Szpak
The paper discusses urban renewal projects implemented in Polish cities in the framework of Cohesion Policy 2004?2006. Renewal projects constituted only a small portion of the intervention under the Cohesion Policy programmes in cities. Relatively small outlays and a small number of projects resulted in a clear diffusion of the intervention, which undoubtedly affected the scale of results. Most undertakings classified as renewal projects were not comprehensive, i.e. they did not consist in restructuring of spatial, social and economic structures, but were rather repair and modernization investments. The general influence of the projects classified as renewal projects at the domestic level was small, even though most individual projects had a definitely positive impact on their direct surroundings or even the whole city (especially the projects concerning larger public spaces).
The aim of this article is to gain a better understanding of the patterns of human capital mobility in transition economies. It exploits a unique dataset from a Polish social networking website to develop a typology of skilled migration. Determinants of human capital flows are further elaborated using an empirical model of student and graduate migration. It is found that spatial mobility of human capital in Poland is low, and the distance between the home region and potential destination plays the most significant role in migration decisions. Migrations of skilled individuals favour metropolitan areas, which experience a net gain of human capital, while all other regions are subject to brain drain.
Theory and empirical literature relates educational quality to two main explanatory factors: intergenerational transfer of human capital and the quality of schools, school composition and economic conditions. Based on these findings a model explaining territorial differentiation of educational quality is proposed. The dependent variable is test score of 6th grade students, averaged at municipality level. As it turns out, educational outcome is highly conditioned on local human capital stock. The role of traditionally meant school quality (resources) is minor (although higher in rural areas than in cities. Average school outcome differs significantly along historical divisions of Poland, not only in levels, but also in parameters of determining function. Legacies of the past and related socioeconomic processes have a substantial impact on the sensitivity of educational quality to different explanatory factors.
The article discusses political leadership in local government. Change from traditional local government to local governance requires also institutional changes and new roles played by local leaders. The notion of political leader is limited to persons having democratic legitimacy for their role played in local politics. It excludes people, who might be influential but remain outside formal democratic institutions of local government. The article distinguishes between type (which depends on formal institutional settings) and style (more dependent on personal characteristics) of leadership. The article discusses selected theoretical concepts of type and style of leadership and tries to refer them to Polish local governments. Recent Polish reforms have brought a change from the type which was close to a collective model to one closer to a strong mayor form. Analysis of four initiative in 2 Polish cities (Poznan and Ostrow Wielkopolski) allows to formulate some conclusions on citizens’ perception of actual styles of local political leadership. The largest proportion of citizens in analysed cities prefers a style which is close to consensus facilitator. But in a real behaviour of leaders, citizens see more of city boss style, which might be characterized by the implementation of an own vision with internal resources existing within local government structures. Comparison of citizens’ preferences with the perception of actual behaviour of leaders allows to compute an Expectation Gap Index. The gap is usually quite narrow in initiatives focused on the construction of broad development programmes, but it becomes wider if we turn to more concretely focused projects.