The article analyzes decision-making councils of Local Action Groups operating in Axis 4 LEADER Rural Development Programme in three Polish regions which were described in the literature as differing significantly in terms of their historical and cultural backgrounds. According to the concept of governance, implemented in programmes such as LEADER, the influence of representatives of various sectors of the economy on local decisions should be balanced and, in accordance with the rules of the support programme, no more than 50% of council members should represent the public sector. This provision, included in formal documents of Local Action Groups, is designed to ensure that non-public sectors do have some impact on council decisions. However, in the three studied regions, the real participation of mayors, officials and executives of the public sector was from 15 to 21% higher than in the official data, and in about one-third of the surveyed organizations it exceeded 50%, which gave the public sector representatives the dominant role in decision-making and selection of eligible projects. This practice was very similar in the studied regions, and is discussed in the context of the concept of governance, as an example of tokenism.
Social councils (SCs) are local collegial actors formally created by local authorities as consultative bodies for different policy issues. The main objective of this article is to define the role of SCs in collaborative governance (CG). The paper is based on the quantitative research conducted in 65 Polish cities. The research is focused on the members of youth, senior citizen councils, and councils for residents with disabilities. The research results indicate that SCs meet many of the prerequisites of CG, however their potential to influence decisions and consensus seeking has not been entirely proven.
After 10 years of discussions about the need to empower the metropolitan areas in Poland, finally a metropolitan union law for the Śląskie Voivodeship [Silesian region] has been adopted. Defining two million people as a population level required for the creation of the metropolitan union confirmed that the legislator’s intention was to establish the first metropolitan union in Poland specifically in the Silesian conurbation due to its unique territorial structure. The establishment of the Upper Silesian and Zagłębie Metropolis [Górnośląsko-Zagłębiowska Metropolia] should be seen as an important social experiment and significant innovation in the Polish local – government system. The large territorial delimitation of the metropolitan union with 41 local units is a courageous step that proves a high level of mobilisation and strong involvement of Silesian local decision makers. The specific decision-making procedure based on double majority voting should entourage dialogue between the large and small member cities of the metropolitan union. The generally formulated competences of the metropolitan union allow considerable freedom to the authorities in prioritising tasks and projects. The author’s analyses the institutional architecture of the first Polish metropolitan union, which is a hybrid organisation combining an inter-municipal association and a local government unit, from the perspective of turning the Upper Silesian metropolitan area into an efficient system of metropolitan governance.
The aim of the French territorial reform from December 2010 was to change the structure of the French local political and administrative system thanks to institutional solutions that would strengthen the biggest agglomerations and lead to their progressive metropolization. The announced changes were meant to adjust the model of territorial organization to the requirements of contemporary economy and to enhance national economic growth of the country in stagnation. The introduction in the law of metropolises as new local-government territorial units that took over the most important competences of municipalities and departments was meant as a “territorial revolution”. Unfortunately, it failed. Meanwhile, the regulations that would make it possible to create a rather loose form of interterritorial cooperation, a so-called Metropolitan Pole, that were inserted into the project at the last moment, gave results unexpected by the legislator. This situation shows the growing importance of flexible solutions regarding competences and territory, solutions that use multilevel governance as an effective tool for inter-territorial management in the situation of inertia of the classical territorial structure and obstacles to its reform.
In many European countries local governments, in particular on the municipal level, search for new solutions to improve the governing process. The aim of this paper is to present an innovative model, based on the idea of New Public Governance management, which operates in the city of Tampere, situated in southern Finland. Introduced in 2007, the model is based on three main pillars – strong leadership, effective and responsible service provision, and citizen involvement in the decision-making process. The paper describes each of these elements and indicates its practical advantages and disadvantages. The analysis has been conducted on the basis of official city documents and interviews conducted with experts in Finnish local government as well as leading local politicians from Tampere. In conclusion, it is pointed out that although the Tampere model should certainly be labelled as innovative, the solutions adopted generate some difficulties. These include tensions between politicians and administrators as well as problems related to the coordination of city services and the attitude of politicians and administrators towards citizen participation.
The reforms driven by New Public Management (NPM) led to the introduction of management principles in local governments, marketisation and outsourcing. They made the greatest impact in the United Kingdom, but were also put in place in other European countries such as Ireland, Sweden, Germany, and – to the least degree – in France (compared to other countries discussed in this paper). There is a risk that NPM-inspired reforms may come to lose sight of the underlying social purpose of public services. NPM has not however become a new, universal model for public sector management. Issues tackled in the debate concerning the reform of public services have moved (mostly in the UK) beyond the concerns of NPM towards the emerging concept of networked community governance.
Civil servants are frequently described as being separate from politicians in good local governance. Regrettably, civil servants are urged to assist in the maintenance of power through the use of social capital. In Indonesia, decentralisation facilitates the accumulation of social capital. However, a body of literature has established that social capital is a predictor of the bureaucracy’s quality. This study delves into something else by examining how social capital fosters a mutually beneficial relationship between the State Civil Apparatus (ASN) and the incumbent, resulting in the ASN’s non-neutrality in Regional Head Elections (Pilkada). We used a qualitative case study approach, within which we interviewed members of the civil apparatus about social capital and its relationship to the performance of the State Civil Apparatus. The findings indicated that the ASN’s lack of neutrality in the Pilkada occurred as a result of the establishment of social capital relations between superiors and the ASN in the form of information channel relationships (paternalism and/or nepotism culture), obligations and expectations (the ASN’s contribution to the incumbent), norms and effective sanctions (superiors’ invitation), as well as adjusted community organisations (weak community control).
The purpose of this article is to highlight the organisational and financial aspects of managing property at the district level, as well as the role of those aspects in local development, resulting in how property is used and the income it generates. The article contains some suggestions as to how a property-managing program should be constructed, based upon research including both source analysis and questionnaire methods.
The paradigm of analysis of the reality and its management, based on vertical hierarchic structures, cannot be used to characterize situations of resources concentration in the hands of many social actors. Nowadays, the paradigm seems to be less popular. First scientific diagnoses of the described situations seemed to prove their chaotic and ungovernable character, but they were gradually replaced with approaches which allowed to penetrate and govern composed systems. The notion of ‘governance’ (i.e. a multi-layered network process whose participants have different statuses and resources, and which results in a consensus achieved in an interactive play of all partners) has a high heuristic value. France is a perfect illustration of this phenomenon. The process can be observed especially in metropolitan areas that create their own compounded authority systems.
The article considers the peculiarities of local government reform based on the examples of Ukraine, Poland, and Latvia. It is substantiated that the Ukrainian vector of European integration requires the implementation of the principles of deconcentration, decentralisation, and subsidiarity in the local governance systems. It is indicated that regional disproportions in the development of the territory of Ukraine, the inability to implement the reform on the ground in specific administrative-territorial units, the spread of corruption schemes – all these are the consequences of an ineffective model of local self-government and public administration of regional development, inherited from the Soviet system, which requires fundamental changes. Broad powers for sub-regional units characterise the Polish model of the administrative-territorial structure. However, this model is underpinned by a high level of political activity and community self-awareness. The Latvian experience of decentralisation of power emphasises the basic principle of success: the volunteer approach to the reform’s implementation. In conclusion, it is proved that for the successful implementation of the Ukrainian local self-government reform, the following factors are necessary: firstly, the victory of Ukrainian armed forces against the military aggression of Russia; secondly, the elaboration of a legal framework for the development of local self-government and the support of society; thirdly, qualified personnel capable of continuing the implementation of the local self-government reform.
The paper refers to sublocal units within metropolitan governance, focusing on Wrocław in the context of multi-level governance and good governance. In Poland, such units function as ancillary units of municipalities (gminy). The paper describes their legal status and functioning within the Polish territorial government and discusses selected urban districts (powiaty). The analysis is based on legal acts and interviews with people involved in the local and sublocal government in Wrocław. The organisation of metropolitan governance based on smaller units is an efficient solution applied in cities worldwide, however, in the case of Wrocław, the borough model leaves a broad potential to develop this element of municipal management structure. Currently, a clear concept of their role in the city is needed.
For some time local governments and urban politics have been undergoing significant changes related to the change of the traditional welfare state model. These changes have concerned economic, political and management dimensions. While describing these processes numerous authors refer to the notion of New Public Management. This article discusses three theories which have been created to help in interpretation of on-going processes. New Political Culture theory by T.N. Clark stresses value and economic changes and underlines their implications for changes in styles of local politics. Local governance theory developed mostly by Peter John concentrates on shape of local government institutions. Another T.N. Clark’s theory of the “city as an entertainment machine” focuses on evolving mechanisms of local economic development and their impact on policies adopted by urban governments. The paper formulates questions and initial hypothesis about applicability of these concepts to Polish environment.
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.
The article, referring to the elaboration offered in 2005 by Swianiewicz, presents the very recent development of the theoretical concepts used in urban political research. It concentrates on the rescaling concept, which assumes the need for territorial reorganization of urban research and practice. Reteritorialization implies an increase in the importance of the sub-state levels, i.e. the levels most affected by globalization. Globalization has forced big cities to compete internationally, which also influences their organization. The debate on metropolitan governance has changed significantly in comparison to the one of the old regionalism – less attention is paid to administrative solutions, more to conditions and mechanisms of international functioning of metropolises. Metropolitan governance has moved from vertical, redistributive and coordinative relations within the state towards a horizontal competition with other metropolises. New relations, cutting across the traditional levels of organization, are being created within the current stable institutional framework. One of the biggest challenges for contemporary urban political studies is the elaboration of conceptual frames for those relations. The challenge is especially important as institutional solutions to metropolitan areas still leave a lot of questions and doubts.
Regional and local authorities today face a twofold challenge of delivering locally responsive policies in accordance with EU development goals. For this reason they need to align their development strategies with European guidelines. This paper determines the drivers and hindering factors behind the effective involvement of local and regional authorities in drafting and implementing EU policies with territorial impact. It evaluates several examples of multi-level governance operating in the institutional context of the EU and identifies its most important weaknesses such as lack of regional administrative capacities; insufficient Europeanization of subnational elites
and inadequate communication between EU, national and regional levels.
This paper analyses the shifts in the system of governance of Kyiv in 2008–2014 as a crucial element of the resilience capacity of the region. The consequences of the economic crisis and the ongoing security crisis demand new approaches and solutions from the city’s leadership and community. For years Kyiv suffered from poor municipal leadership and unprecedented control by the central government, which undermined the resilience of its socio-economic system in the aftermath of the global economic crisis. However, new forms of community initiatives that bring together private and non-governmental actors are becoming widespread, and are becoming critical knowledge networks that are essential for successful long-term development. Changing institutional frameworks, and the firm commitment to decentralisation proclaimed by the country’s current leadership, open new avenues for harnessing the city’s potential. The challenge is in finding ways for constructive collaboration between formal and informal leaders of the city while building a new base for sustainable and competitive economic growth.
The article describes EU policy towards its outermost regions. The regions are an example of integration of various streams of EU policies on the territorial level, as well as a playing field for EU pilot measures and innovative modes of governance. The European approach provides special privileges for peripheral regions in EU policies and the meaning of these regions in European public debates is increasing. The author examines the development of EU policy towards its outermost regions since 2004 in relation to two basic contemporary European debates: about territorial cohesion and the future of EU cohesion policy after 2013. At the end of the article, some conclusions are given for Polish decision-makers.
Financial independence is considered to be a crucial instrument of self-governance. This issue is treated in a dynamic and structural approach. The aim of the research was the evaluation of the level of changes in local government units` financial independence. The highest level of independence is found in the cities with poviat rights, whereas the lowest is found in self-governing voivodeships and in poviats. In the communes, the level is average, but there are big differences between them in this aspect. The urban communes and those situated near big cities have a much higher level of financial independence than rural communes, situated far away from major cities.
The paper is an overview of selected aspects of sustaining the development of Brussels. The mechanism of multi-level governance of the capital of Belgium and the nature of its problems resulted in the emergence of instruments that give local actors greater control over the urban processes. The paper describes two of such instruments, namely the neighbourhood contracts and the Regional Development Plan. Despite some criticism, both are considered valuable tools of urban policy. The way in which they have been adapted and the results they give confirm that Brussels’ sustainable development is achieved most effectively by the application of system solutions, specifically those used in the smallest administrative areas of the city – neighbourhoods.
According to its development strategy and currently defined physical planning policy Warsaw should become the European metropolis, with a good quality of life, high culture, a durable physical order and public areas of high standard. These are the goals of the municipal authorities, but a short walk through the downtown shows that they are far from being reached. The obvious way for Warsaw to meet the ambitions of its authorities is through physical planning – transparent, with a high level of a public participation. That is – completely different from how it is now, what can be confirmed by some spectacular examples. If bad governance will be continued, Warsaw may soon become closer to the cities of the Third World, than to the European metropolis.
New Public Management – inspired reforms have influenced implementation of management principles in local government, the marketisation and outsourcing. These reforms were mostly visible in the United Kingdom but appear also in other European countries, for example: Ireland, Sweden, Germany, the least in France (among described in this article). There is a risk that NPM-led reforms may come to lose sight of the underlying social purpose of public services. NPM has not became a new, universal model of public sector management. The debate about public service reform has moved (particularly in UK) beyond the concerns of NPM to an emerging concept of networked community governance.
The article discusses the involvement of the US federal government in the policy of urban development in the years 1965-2012. The implementation paradox, understood as a limited ability to achieve national policy objectives as a result of the empowerment of potential adversaries, and the changing views of the successive presidents on federalism were considered crucial in explaining the discussed issue. The following categories have been used: federalism, orientation and instruments of development, and financial outlays for development. Orientation and instruments of development have been presented on the basis of selected federal programmes addressed to cities, and outlays – based on federal budgets. Three generations of public policy implementation theories constitute the theoretical framework of the study. In conclusion, the author points to the withdrawal of the federal government and the growing importance of state authorities in urban development policy.
The author explores the problem of territorial reorganization of the metropolitan area within the Canadian evolutionary federal system, taking as an example the cities of Toronto and Montreal. The results of the research indicate that adaptation strategies, applied by states aiming at empowering the metropolis, depend on the general level of the territorial units’ autonomy. The existence of strong local self-government favours creation of intercommunal cooperation structures without dissolution of current local territorial units. Territorial reorganization in the case of states with a low level of local autonomy may facilitate elimination of former local units by theirs amalgamation in new, larger metropolitan self-government structures. As far as this context is concerned, Canada constitutes a very interesting study case. Taking into consideration Canadian evolutionary federal system, highly limited local autonomy of the cities, and its mix of European and American traditions, one can observe almost all the above-mentioned dimensions of reform and adaptation strategies. Advanced and institutionalized intercommunal cooperation, developed in Toronto and Montreal in the middle of the 20th century, was interrupted by amalgamation imposed by provincial government, which resulted in creation of new, enlarged metropolitan cities of Toronto in 1998 and Montreal in 2002. In both cases the amalgamation has not been accepted by a part of the population and destabilized cooperation in these metropolitan areas. The trouble with amalgamation led to abandonment of further structural and territorial reforms, which were replaced by functional ones, taking the form of special agreements between Toronto and Montreal and their respective provinces (Ontario and Quebec), giving them both new competences and financial resources. Regardless of any difficulties in pursuing an appropriate metropolitan regime and the suitable position for the metropolis in the structure of a political and territorial system, both cities have achieved strong economic performance and high quality of life.
The article describes the perceived burden of transaction costs in externalising three local services in Poland – transport, care services and water and sewage services. The tool for interpreting the results of the empirical study is the concept of transaction costs concerning the difficulties of monitoring services. The article poses questions about which of the analysed monitoring costs are perceived by local government officials as more painful and how this perception differs between the organisational forms of public service provision. The study found that contracts with a public agent are perceived as more expensive than contracts with a private agent. Administrative agreements and purchases from other local governments are important tools for providing services in Poland; they are used to adjust the structure used to provide the service to the size of the market and the resources needed to provide a given service. The effective monitoring of these contracts is a crucial element in building the quality of governance in Poland.
The paper describes the creation of the Greater Paris metropolitan area (Métropole du Grand Paris, MGP), with special emphasis on the changes and challenges related to the implementation of the housing policy at the metropolitan level. MGP is an inter-municipal cooperation structure with its own budget and special status. It embraces Paris, 123 municipalities located in the neighbouring departments, and fie external municipalities. MGP will take the responsibilities in the field of: management of resources to support social housing, renovation of housing, elimination of low-quality buildings. The implementation of the housing policy at the metropolitan level is associated with a number of challenges mainly in terms of consolidation of activities undertaken by the institutions of social housing, reservation of land for social housing investments, increase in the amount of new housing, including attempts for their more even distribution at the metropolitan scale. In addition, a set of new challenges appeared due to the changing socio-demographic structure of households, which in turn require innovative architectural solutions.
The article presents intersectoral partnerships forming Local Action Groups, and analyzes the mechanisms of emergence of such partnerships in the Podkarpackie region, particularly factors contributing to their emergence, their initiators and partner-recruitment methods, as well as the relations of partnerships with their social milieu, decision-making inside partnerships and expectations regarding their future. The theoretical framework of the study is rooted in the neoinstitutional theory with its historical, normative, rational-choice and network approaches. Based on them, the authors formulate some hypotheses referring to the innovativeness of the partnerships, the supremacy of local authorities over other partners, the utilitarian character of partnerships and the assumptions concerning their future. The hypotheses are then verified on the basis of the results of quantitative research of Local Action Groups in the Podkarpackie region.
As a form of spatial and social organization, the city has been in deep crisis in the recent years. Nowadays in Poland, we can observe the renaissance of urbanity, as evidenced mostly in the increasing activity of social movements and the growing importance of civic participation. This paper discusses the role public consultation on spatial planning can play in urban policy. The analysis is based on a case study of active and innovative approaches to public consultations carried out during the process. The authors describe the potential of such sociological intervention in solving the crisis of urban communities.
The article concentrates on vehicle tax, which is interesting not only due to its efficiency, but also high mobility of the tax base. The study aims to examine the correlation between fiscal results and municipal policies, from the perspective of such criteria as the type of municipality and taxpayer category. The study is based on correlation analysis, in which Pearson’s independence test and Spearman’s rho coefficient are used. The results confirm that the tested correlations do exist. Municipal tax policy influences tax revenues of the studied tax, though the results in each unit are different between the current and later periods. Moreover, in the case of vehicle tax, municipal authorities’ main action was to lower the upper tax rates. For municipalities in which these relations were the most visible, econometric models were built. These illustrate the effects of tax policy in relation to certain taxpayer categories.
Human resource management (HRM) studies have been continuously developed to serve as a reference for enhancing the quality of public services. This includes the case in local government where it is important to have highly competent resources, because civil service personnel are the door that deals directly with local communities. Using bibliometrics and analysing previous research coherently, this study focuses on identifying the development of HRM discussions on local governance at the global level, both in developed and developing countries. As a result, although in general, the topics raised included managerial and personnel issues. There are certain issues raised by developed countries, such as innovation to contemporary social issues. Meanwhile, in developing countries discussed challenges faced by local governments in managing their resources. This study contributes to the development of HRM concern-mapping in local government globally and can be used as a reference for increasing the capacity of human resource management in local government.
Local governments in the Western Balkan countries are dependent on central governments’ transfers, with low fiscal autonomy and limited efforts for own-source revenue mobilisation. The paper identifies that besides central government transfers, other significant factors in determining municipal own-source revenues include central and local public investment, current expenditures, human development index, and population density. Municipal own-source revenue is adversely affected by intergovernmental transfers, implying their de-incentivising effect in collecting local revenues. Local capital expenditure is a significant and strong determinant with a higher strength than central government investments, suggesting their importance for local fiscal autonomy. The human development index as a composite measure, unlike GDP per capita, positively affects the municipal fiscal autonomy.