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Search for phrase: "samorząd lokalny"
Paweł Swianiewicz, Katarzyna Szmigiel-Rawska

The purpose of the research presented in the article is to assess the effects of the 2015 amalgamation of the Zielona Góra city with the rural commune of the same name on the quality of local democracy. The second goal is to examine the phenomenon of free riding on the common pool in the context of the local-level territorial reform. The analysis, based on a quasi-experimental scheme using the synthetic control method, unlike previous studies, did not confirm the free riding hypothesis. The results of the study also indicate that the strategy implemented in Zielona Góra can be useful in achieving an intermediate political goal, which is to ensure the residents’ approval of the reform and legitimization of its results.

Agata Brzóska, Paweł Swianiewicz

Uptade from 2.03.2021: Parts of this article were subsequently used in the following publication: Swianiewicz, P., & Brzóska, A. (2020). Demand Elasticity for Local Public Transport in Polish Cities: Do Local Policies Matter?. Transylvanian Review of Administrative Sciences, 16(61), 125-142

 

After 1990, the number of local public transport passengers has been systematically decreasing at the expense of individual transport, which led to an increase in traffic congestion and deterioration of air quality in cities. However, for the last few years, a reversal of this trend has been observed in some cities. The article, using the data on the present number and recent changes in the number of passengers in nearly 100 Polish cities, discusses regression models to explain the factors influencing the diversity of demand for public transport services and its dynamics. The independent variables of the model refer both to the characteristics of cities (their socio-economic environment) and the organisation of services (e.g. organisational and legal forms of local transport companies, tariff policies, etc.). The results show that the density of the public transport network is the most significant factor explaining variation of the demand, while the level of ticket prices is almost insignificant. Demand in the largest cities has also recently been on the increase, but the relationship between the demand and the population size of the city is not a linear one.

Paweł Swianiewicz, Julita Łukomska

Uptade from 2.03.2021: Parts of this article were subsequently used in the following publication: Swianiewicz, P., & Łukomska, J. (2016). Local tax competition in Poland?. Miscellanea Geographica, 20(3), 37-43

 

The paper considers the usefulness of the tax competition theory for the analysis of local tax policies in Poland. The concept has been successfully used for analyses conducted in several European countries, but it has not been systematically tested in Poland yet. There are two types of competition discussed in the paper: classic competition for mobile tax base and yardstick competition, in which local politicians compete for political capital related to a comparison of tax rates with neighbouring municipalities. Due to the limited size and types of local taxes in Poland, it is expected that yardstick competition is more important than classic competition for mobile tax base. The paper also examines regional variation in the intensity of local tax competition, and it formulates the hypothesis that it is more visible in regions with higher bridging social capital. Results of the conducted research indicate that the theory of local tax competition is a useful concept helping to explain the variation in tax policies among Polish municipalities.

Paweł Swianiewicz, Urszula Klimska
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.
Justyna Ślawska

The article presents the factors influencing the choice of local transport delivery modes in Poland. It is the first quantitative study conducted on a representative sample of municipalities since the 1990s, and it concerns three service delivery modes: contracting-out, cooperation, and corporatization. Most local governments do not invest their own resources to deliver local transport, but rather act as a private market supply regulator and contract the service out to private enterprises. Some of them act based on functional connections within metropolitan areas, joining forces with other local governments. More affluent and densely populated cities opt for corporatization, which gives them greater political control over the delivery process. The presented results are useful for decision-makers who have to select the mode of local transport service provision, as they characterize the municipalities which, in 2017, chose one of the three analyzed modes.

Katarzyna Szmigiel-Rawska, António F. Tavares

The goal of the present study is to determine what types of emotions are displayed by mayors in social media. Their posts at the Facebook social network were tested using sentiment analysis. The study shows that the top concern of the mayors’ agenda built on Facebook is to create their positive image of someone willing to build relationships with citizens. In their personal profile pages, mayors also favour information about specific decisions rather than more general information about events in the municipality. The most important conclusion is that the mayors use emotionally charged social media posts more often than the administrators of the city organization profiles, and that these are usually positive emotions.

Paweł Swianiewicz, Anna Kurniewicz

Uptade from 2.03.2021: Parts of this article were subsequently used in the following publication: Pawel Swianiewicz & Anna Kurniewicz (2018): Coming out of the shadow? Studies of local governments in Central and Eastern Europe in European academic research, Local Government Studies, DOI: 10.1080/03003930.2018.1548352

 

The article is an analysis of the changing role and position of research on local governments in Central and Eastern Europe in the mainstream European studies. The article refers to dependency theory (Wallerstein, Prebish) applied to scientific research. It classifies Central and Eastern Europe as a half-periphery of academic research. Empirical analysis consists of two parts. The first – qualitative – is a review of the most important comparative studies of European local governments and includes discussion of the role of local governments and researchers from the Eastern part of the continent in those studies. The second – quantitative – is based on an analysis of articles published in the best international journals and citations of those articles in the Scopus database. The authors of articles on local governments in Central and Eastern Europe are divided into two groups: “locals” and “colonisers” – i.e. academics from Western universities conducting their research in Eastern Europe. The analysis covers 14 countries of Central and Eastern Europe (all the New Member States that have joined the EU since 2004 plus the Balkan countries – Albania, Macedonia and Serbia).

Marta Derek
Tourism is often treated as a solution for all development problems of every Polish local government. However, even the most popular tourism resorts do not always take the economic advantage of it. The economic impact of tourism is often lower that it could have been expected. The case study given in the article is Mikolajki – the most popular tourism resort in Mazury region, but very common as far as local government’s revenues are concerned. Why? This article gives at least a partial response for the question.
Paweł Swianiewicz
The paper is an attempt to answer few questions, which are of crucial importance for the assessment of local government financing in Poland. The main focus of the paper is on inter-governmental financial transfers. What are goals and principles of inter-governmental grants in the theory of fiscal federalism? How these principles are applied in European countries? How the practice of local finance in Poland is related to these principles and to international experience? The first section deals with theoretical issues of grants` transfers and equalization schemes. The second part includes a brief description of grant systems in selected European countries. The third section concentrates on the evaluation of the Polish practice, and includes recommendation fo future changes. However, the paper skips a detail description of the Polish grant system (which is well-known and described in Polish academic literature).
Paweł Swianiewicz, Joanna Krukowska

The article discusses the differences in the mayors’ political strength in European countries and the implications of their role in horizontal power relationships for the operation of the local government scene. First, it shows how the role of the mayor is measured, taking into account various institutional settings such as the election system, the scope of competences vis-?-vis the legislative body and possibilities of recall before the end of the term of office. Second, it demonstrates how such dissimilar contexts of the mayor’s political strength impact on several selected aspects of their activity, including the propensity to be formally affiliated with a political party, perception of the mayor’s autonomy in their day-to-day management of the municipality and the possibilities to keep the mandate for several terms in a row.

Paweł Swianiewicz
Horizontal transfers in the local government financial equalization system have been raising a lot of controversies in Poland during the last few years. The paper shows similar instruments functioning in other European countries: Spain, Switzerland, Germany, Denmark, Sweden, and Norway. The paper discusses two mechanisms of equalization: that of revenue and of expenditure needs. European experience is discussed in a way which makes it possible to draw comparisons with regulations in Poland as well as with current debates in Poland.
Małgorzata Madej

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.

Julita Łukomska, Katarzyna Szmigiel-Rawska
The paper describes an indicator constructed to measure financial flows between local governments in Poland. These flows are considered as the measure of local governments’ cooperation and of the strength of functional connections crossing administrative boundaries. The purpose of this paper is to present the scale and the subject of financial transfers between local governments and the factors explaining the variation of local governments’ financial cooperation. The biggest financial transfers take place in functional urban areas, but only in terms of current expenditures. Transfers of investments expenditures are higher outside these areas and are characteristic of less affluent municipalities. The strongest associate function is to provide transportation services: both in terms of current expenditures and investments.
Adam Gendźwiłł
The article presents an overview of opinions on climate change and the ways of adapting to it held by representatives of Polish local authorities (political leaders and local administration representatives) in a recently conducted survey. The author briefly describes the institutional context in which the new field of local policy has emerged and local adaptation strategies are established. The empirical analyses, based on survey data, demonstrate that local authorities in many municipalities remain relatively sceptical about the human impact on climate change: 32% feel convinced by the existing evidence. The analyses also demonstrate that there is a relationship between attitudes of local authorities towards climate change and the population size of the municipalities, as well as its previous exposure to extreme weather events. The results suggest that local adaptation policies have more chance of being developed in municipalities with specialized environmental administration.
Andrzej K. Piasecki
Local referenda are a special form of direct democracy in Poland. As a result of some legal solutions and in the light of practice, now reaching back for over ten years, they must be considered as a populist and ineffective instrument. This refers primarily to the referenda on recalling local authorities such as city council and mayor, accounting for 85%-90% of all such events. The practice of local referenda in Poland embraces approximately 400 cases. During the first three terms in office of the territorial self-government (1990-2002), 347 referenda concerned recalling the communal councils. Such referenda may be initiated only by the residents of the commune. Only 37 of these referenda proved to be decisive, as their attendance turnout exceeded 30%. The effectiveness of referenda is limited mostly to small towns (up to 20 thousand residents), where the threshold turnout is usually reached.
Lucyna Rajca
In Western Europe, the model of local government has been changing in the previous decades: from a council-committee model to more executive-oriented ones, like the parliamentary and the presidential models. Political leadership lies at the heart of many of the recent institutional reforms of local government. An explicit aim of these reforms has been to strengthen the executive power, and to provide strong, visible and effective leadership. For example, the position of the mayor in Britain and Germany and of the board in the Netherlands has changed. The direct election of mayors is one of the ways to strengthen the political executive. Not all countries are undergoing such kind of transformation. In some of them, changes have been restricted to few municipalities. Others have been relatively immune to this international trend towards institutional reforms.
Bartosz Czepil

The article is based on a systematic review of the scientific literature addressing the phenomenon of corruption in Poland’s local governments after 1989. It covers the leading scientific disciplines dealing with this issue and discusses the sources of research data, the diversity of research problems within the respective disciplines and their major conclusions. The article concludes with a recommendation of more robust interdisciplinarity and conducting research on both bottom-up anticorruption mechanisms and political repercussions of local government corruption.

Lucyna Rajca
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.
Katarzyna Szmigiel
This article presents international relations of regional and local governments in lubelskie region. Analysis of the office structure and the rules of intraregional policy describe international relations of regional government. The most important research instruments used in gminas are the survey results conducted in all gminas in lubelskie voivoidship. The article`s main goal is to answer the question of the preparation process of periphery local governments in the face of European integration and their compete ability in the open economy.
Krzysztof Janc
The purpose of this paper is to determine whether connections within cyberspace are in any way related to borders in the geographical sense. The author assesses the connections between the websites of local authorities and destinations that can be reached by hyperlinks. He analyzes 29 counties in Lower Silesia and shows that the activity of local self-government units in cyberspace covers their real-life territory. On the whole, it can be said that connections existing in cyberspace largely reflect actual borders. However, the main functional node dominating cyberspace is the country’s capital city.
Paulina Rychlewska
This article shows the profiles of people who hold at least the second cadence on the position of village mayor, mayor or president of the city. According to the paradigm New Public Management, the person who manages the community is often antidote on its problems, the key for its economical success and the chance of better life its inhabitants. Doubtlessly, it is connected with a charisma of the leader. What is hidden under this term? The aim of this article is to answer the question whether it is possible to show some personality features and the model of management which decide on the chance of holding the position of the mayor of community on the next cadence. The method of the studies contain the interpretation of the personality test NEO-FFI and the questionnaire concerning the model of management of the community. The results show that the people which are the managers of the community must have some level of the main personality features in fact. Only then it is possible to hold the next cadence. It relates mainly to extraversion and conscientiousness. The model of management chosen by them is of great significance too.
Katarzyna Szmigiel-Rawska, Justyna Ślawska

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.

Bartosz Czepil

The purpose of this article is to analyse both the allocation of the financial support from the 2nd instalment of the CGFLI in the Opolskie Voivodeship and the debate in this region over accusations of the clientelistic allocation of this fund. According to the first hypothesis, the local governments affiliated with the German minority are not treated as politically neutral; therefore, they might be vulnerable to discrimination in allocation of the fund. The second hypothesis claims that the peculiarity of the local political patterns in the voivodeship, which is characterised by the low level of partisanship, gives the ruling party’s regional politicians the opportunity to undermine the thesis on clientelistic distribution of the CGFLI. The research has shown that the local governments affiliated with the German minority have a lower chance of getting financial support when compared to the non-partisan ones. Additionally, the study has distinguished five modes of counter-arguing against the thesis on clientelism, employed by the ruling party politicians of the region.

Maciej J. Nowak
The aim of this paper is to examine the process of issuing decisions on building conditions and land management in rural-urban areas located in the outer zone of the Szczecin Metropolitan Area, and to determine whether the individual municipalities adopt a similar policy in this case. We also study the possible reasons for the differences. In the research, covering the years 2007–2010, we examined four rural-urban municipalities located in the outer zone of the Szczecin Metropolitan Area. We specified the number of decisions regarding the building conditions in each year and in each municipality, we counted the motions which were denied and the decisions to establish the locations of a public purpose investment. In the latter case, we also studied the purpose of such investments. Moreover, in the total number of the decisions issued for economic purposes, we defined the percentage of those made in favour of legal persons and those made in the city’s area.
Arkadiusz Ptak
The method and rules of elections of village heads and village council-members, which are conducted at meetings of village residents, are one of the last examples of direct democracy. Even though this form of democracy has been studied and described previously, the electoral rivalry within rural communities is marginalized; therefore, it is little known. The paper tries to define the features of electoral competition and analyze rivalry at this level of government. It has been based on a case study of one commune and three research methods have been used: direct observation, document analysis and personal interviews. Additionally, the paper presents sociological and demographic studies on some of the newly elected village heads and their councils.
Wojciech Tomasz Modzelewski

Regions can get involved in international-relations activity defined as paradiplomacy. It is similar to state diplomacy as it is subject to its law and policy and uses similar tools such as diplomatic protocol, but is not pursued by professional diplomats. Regional paradiplomacy needs to be analysed as a source of new international relationships. Consequently, regions should be perceived as new actors in international relations. The article focuses on the paradiplomacy of Polish regions (voivodships, or województwa) and Croatian counties (Hrvatske županije). The case study discusses the cooperation between the Warmińsko-Mazurskie Voivodship and the Split-Dalmatia County.

Piotr Szczygłowski
The article is devoted to the problems of the handicapped people with special reference to the functioning of the Railway Missions in a metropolitan environment. From the beginning of industrialization process the railway stations in Europe were creating a specific social environment, including such phenomena as prostitution, slaves trade, drugs dealing or just individual stories of the travelers. Specifically to deal with these problems, a social institutions called `missions` were established at the railway stations in Germany and Poland. This article shows the historical development of the German and Polish Railway Missions with special reference to its role for the local societies.
Andrzej Pawluczuk, Małgorzata Wasiuk
Renata Białobrzeska, Renata Marks-Bielska
Democratic end economic transformations that occurred after 1989 in Central and Eastern Europe Countries have resulted in a new political situation in the Baltic Sea region. They created opportunities for unrestricted development of cooperation not only at international, but also at regional and local communities level. Those initiatives are a consequence of the necessity for social and economic activation, the belief in opportunity of achieving economic benefits for everybody and they are motivated by cross-sborder transport links, cultural and language similarities between communities living at both sides of the border. The paper aims at presenting the scope and scale of regional cooperation in the Baltic Sea region with particular focus on the current effects and potential of that cooperation in the border areas of Poland. The paper presents the results of questionnaire based on investigations encompassing representatives of local governments from border municipalities of the Baltic Sea Euroregion.
Adam Gendźwiłł
The aim of the article is to describe the phenomenon of non-partisanship of local governments in large Polish cities. It is a report from a research conducted in Wroclaw, Gdynia and Katowice. The article contains a description of typical justifications of non-partisanship, an identification of differences between partisan and non-partisan city councillors and a description of quasi-partisan organizations functioning as political support for non-partisan mayors. The results of the research confirm the existence of a specific category of local activists consistently rejecting party politics and very often having no political ambitions concerning higher levels of government; this category is typical for quasi-partisan organizations. The research demonstrates that non-partisanship can be a means of institutionalization of a particular manner of understanding and making politics. One of the final conclusions is that the problems of partisanship and non-partisanship at the local level are derivatives of a vague relationship between public administration and politics at the local level.
Janina Kotlińska, Maciej J. Nowak
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.
Paweł Swianiewicz
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.
Ryszard Czyszkiewicz
The article explores the issue of social development of the local communes. This development process is defined as growth and differentiation in the fulfilment of needs of the social groups located on the particular area. There is spectrum of measures that allows us to define level of development and specificity of the particular territorial communes. Author presents the concept of Indicator of Development of Territorial Communes (IDTC) calculated for communes. This indicator is calculated according to the portfolio method and it takes into account both growth factors and barriers of development. The practical use of the IDTC is illustrated on the example of the communes in Zachodniopomorskie Region, for years 1999–2001. The results show uneven and incoherent development of the communes in the region discussed. The further conclusion is that this situation would not change in the short-term perspective.
Paulina Rychlewska
The aim of this study is to assess the impact of foreign investments on the development of one of the poorest Polish provinces – the Podkarpackie region. The article shows the location, structure and spatial variation of direct foreign investments in the region. The institution method was used to compile data: the number of employees and the size of investment were assigned to places where they were made, but not where the company`s headquarters are located. Results suggest a rather positive impact of foreign investments on local and regional development in the Podkarpackie province, especially in manufacturing industries. The influence of FDI on growth of socio-economic disparities in the region should be rated unfavourably.
Sławomir Maciejczyk
The aim of the following article is to review the literature on financial evaluation of local governments and to emphasise the need of creating new methods of evaluation in this sector. The author makes references to the indicators applied by the financial institutions to business sector and points out the possibilities of adapting those experiences in assessing local governments.
Maciej Nowak, Ewa Łaźniewska
Article presents resolutions concerning divisions of estates in Szczecin Metropolitan Area. Each metropolitan area is divided into the centre, i.e. the main town, and the outer zone consisting of communes directly adjacent to the main town or in any other way functionally linked to it. The realization of metropolitan functions in the outer zone of the metropolitan area significantly affects the developing capability of the area. Divisions of the estates could be very important instrument of local development.
Danuta Kochanowska, Mieczysław Kochanowski
Katarzyna Romańczyk
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.
Agnieszka Szczudlińska-Kanoś
In general, political marketing is a collection of activities, techniques, methods and means that at least facilitate and at most make possible electoral success on the part of political entities. At present political marketing represents an indispensable part of politics, since only with its help do candidates have a chance of gaining and then holding on to power. After every election we can observe yet-greater competition. Political entities apply different and more elaborate methods and techniques which are aimed at increasing chances of electoral success. During the last ten years in Poland (since the new voivodships were established), it has been possible to observe the professionalization of marketing operations, particularly at municipal elections and especially at those on the regional level. In this article distinctions are therefore drawn between regional political marketing operations and those at either nationwide or local levels. The findings are based on investigations conducted by means of questionnaires distributed among the councillors serving on the voivodship regional assemblies (sejmiki) for the 2006–2010 term of office.
Marek Furmankiewicz
The paper shows the basic problems of implementation of the cross-sector cooperation, in the frame of area-based partnerships, for specified rural areas in years 2001-2004 in Poland. In this period partnerships were created with international sources support and with appreciable participation of non-government organisations. The main obstacles to their actions were: the insufficient financial resources, the lack of legal form of self-governments, NGOs and entrepreneurships cooperation with equal rights, tendencies for leaders` domination in group`s actions, weak organisational structures and the lack of long-term strategies. The first effects of cooperation are little; they deal with social affairs and tourist promotion, but they show the positive role of such type coalitions in local development.
Elżbieta Michałowska

This article discusses a particular type of social conflict, which is NIMBY (Not In My BackYard) syndrome. It has been very well studied and described by American sociologists. Although NIMBY syndrome has been present in Poland for relatively short time it is de?nately a sign of organising different types of local communities against interfering processes. Although usually depicted as negative phenomenon in most con?icts in the region of lodz it has proved to increase local activity, created new channels of social communication and leaders. It can be also stated that NIMBY syndrome has its source in omitting or separating local community from decision-making procedures and insufficient information on affair/venture being planned. The research revealed that NIMBY protests were characterised by violent beginning, significant time of existence and appearance of sudden, violent and often abrupt reactions of community during time of the con?ict. Dominating forms of activity were petitions and letters being written form. Another activities covered blockades, manifestations, demonstrations and destruction of construction machines or construction site itself. Most frequent form of extinguishing the con?ict was arbitrage which is forcing administrative decision against community which resulted in increasing distance between the community, local authorities and investor.

Wojciech Jarczewski
The majority of major local actors of the city of Mielec have united in the idea of creating the Special Economic Zone (SEZ) in the 1st half of 90s. The informal coalition of representatives of various bodies and institutions quickly started to have access to institutional resources, that enabled them to control the decision-making and took over the social leadership. The young coalition managed also to gain the support from the government. Such informal deal was characterised by the most typical features for urban regime of symbolic type and develop to all actors a great mobilisation for finding new progress tendencies of the city. The strength of the coalition and the success of the regime may be measured by the first SEZ in Poland that has been created in 1995 in Mielec. The legal regulations for functioning of SEZs in Poland were developed mainly by participants of this regime having a visible stigma of local city problems.
Grzegorz Gorzelak, Bohdan Jałowiecki, Marek Kozak, Maciej Smętkowski
Article is devoted to identification of towns endangered by socio-economic degradation (marginalisation). Using the example of 10 selected towns it shows their weak and strong points and complex sources of developmental problems. Authors present and evaluate activities undertaken by town authorities. Town of Bilgoraj serves as a benchmark (positive example of successful local transformation after 1989).
Iwona Markowicz, Beata Stolorz
The purpose of the paper was to study the nature of demand for labour on the basis of the characteristics of unemployed people registered in the Local Labour Office in Szczecin that have found employment in the last quarter of 2006. In the paper, the authors studies the possibilities to use survival analysis methods for analysing the influence of gender, education and age of the unemployed person on their job search time and interactions between these variables. In the last quarter of 2006, Szczecin’s labour market demanded young and well-educated employees. The women tended to find jobs faster among younger groups, men among the older age groups.
Grzegorz Gorzelak, Adam Płoszaj, Maciej Smętkowski
The article presents 4 capital model as an evaluation method of the region development strategy implementation as well as strategy document analysis. The introduction provides definition of these types of capitals that might be adapted to analysis of sustainable development. Than the authors describes a result of exercise conducted together with representatives of self-government authorities consists of impact assessment of the strategy implementation in the context of selected forms of capital. The results were confronted with opinions of local self-governments authorities as well as small and medium size enterprises. These breakdown enabled authors to indicate weakness of the strategy and potentials trade-offs between different types of capital. As the final result recommendations regarding the updating processes of the strategy were formulated.
Maciej J. Nowak
Local spatial development is affected by various authorities, including environmental authorities. The purpose of this article is to identify the extent to which national parks (on behalf of which the directors of national parks act) affected spatial development in municipalities in Poland in years 2008–2011 based on the arrangements made by them. In addition, an attempt has been made to verify whether in this period of time there were spatial conflicts between the intended space-related maintenance and development of national parks and other, occurring at the local level allocations. The article analyzed the data obtained from thirteen Polish national parks.
Stanisław Wyganowski
In the early 90’s public authorities in Poland considered all kinds of planning as a remaining of the socialist economy, unnecessary under the free-market rules. As a consequence, the chaos became a dominant characteristics of the Polish space at the beginning of the XXI century. This applies also to the situation in Warsaw Metropolitan Area, that exists as a real system of functional relations, but not as an administrative or planning unit. In effect, we observe the “wild urbanization” of the suburbs, and lack of development in the central part of the city. Recent centralization of local government in Warsaw has made the situation even worse, by blocking the investment and planning decisions. All these processes may lead to further marginalization of Warsaw as an European metropolis.
Piotr Lorens
Sustaining the development at the local level is associated with many different issues. One of the major ones is the urban growth policy. This can be justified by the importance of space as one of the most important environmental assets, which has to be treated as non-renewable one. At the same time it is necessary to remember that the shape of this policy is influenced by many factors, i.e. legal regulations and current paradigm of urban development. Along with introduction of the sustainable development concept this paradigm evolves. Currently as some of its most important components one should mention urban regeneration of the degraded areas and limiting urban growth to the areas already urbanized. As far as urban regeneration is discussed, it is possible to mention a number of issues that have to be taken into account. At the same time one can regard the inside growth of cities which means reusing degraded areas – as real alternative to the on-going suburbanization and encroachment of urban structures to the areas still remaining its agricultural or natural character.
Robert Pyka
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.
Ewa Nowińska-Łaźniewska, Piotr Nowak
The article describes the important problem of increasing regional competitiveness through the international (interregional and cross-border) cooperation. Activities supporting the competitiveness of companies and whole regions are described in the article using the examples of transregional projects carried out by different partners dealing with logistics. The first project ECO4LOG carried out in the framework of interregional cooperation programme INTERREG III C promotes the usage of the intermodal infrastructure located in the transport corridor along Polish and German border and further through Austria, Hungary and Slovenia to the Adriatic sea. One of the main tasks of this project is the improvement of cross-border cooperation in goods transport among bodies which are interested in such cooperation (also public authorities). Another important target of ECO4LOG is the increase of effectiveness of the existing transport network through the improvement of information flows. The second project has the acronym CORELOG and is carried out in the framework of INTERREG III B CADSES. Its target is the development of logistics solutions favourable for enterprises, logistics operators and the whole region – propagating co-ordination of activities of different organisations, feasibility studies of developed co-operation models. Analysis and evaluation of the most important factors influencing the strategies of supply chain management and evaluation of activities carried out by administrations (of the national, regional and local level) affecting transport development and economic growth in the region will provide background for the implementation phase. Several pilot actions will test the ideas for coordinated regional logistics development.
Grzegorz Buczek
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.
Paweł Kos?cielecki
The article is an attempt at a brief overview of the development strategies of Polish voivodeships in terms of the role of culture as a factor in regional development. The author compares the ‘old-generation’ strategies (applicable until 2005/2006) and the ‘new-generation’ ones (developed for the programming period of 2007–2013). Culture plays an important role in the development of regions as after the administrative reform of 1998 cultural policy became an element of the local government activities. The overview is preceded by a description of the constituents of cultural policy such as 1) the cultural industry as a sector of culture creation and development of cultural products, 2) cultural institutions, and 3) cultural heritage as a pool of resources to be used in the cultural creation process and promotion through the cultural institutions network. Each component analysis is accompanied by a brief discussion of the related ideas and opinions expressed in academic literature by experts from cultural institutions and culture-related academic centres. The author also offers his own concept of describing elements of cultural policy. He juxtaposes the perception of culture as presented in the available publications with the aims of cultural activity and the philosophy of cultural development in voivodeships. Consequently, the author assesses the usefulness of the widely available cross-sectional literature on culture in Poland for the building of the cultural development philosophy in the Polish regions.
Ryszard Czyszkiewicz
The article analyses the expenses of local communities in zachodniopomorskie voivodship during the 2000–2005 period, with special regard to capital expenditures and to social care expenditures. Local communities conduct counterbalanced expenditures policy adapted accordingly to incomes. Whereas capital expenditures vary in time with growing tendency to diminishing, the social care expenses continually grow (in analyzed tenure). In spite of this the numbers of people taking advantage of social help diminishing very little (and even growing from time to time). What is more, as can be presumed, the social funds are constantly directed to the same group of beneficiaries without gaining the results in limiting the scale of poverty in community.
Monika Murzyn-Kupisz
Currently, cultural heritage is often thought of as a development resource in development strategies, monument protection and regeneration programmes. It is considered as an obligation and its potential is recognized by specialists and public administration of all levels. The aim of the article is to show that since heritage is a multi-faceted resource, its protection and usage is important for many stakeholders. Many individuals and organisations representing the public, the private and the third sector operate in various segments of the heritage market. Taking into account their expectations and goals is necessary to avoid or at least weaken potential conflicts brought about by using heritage for present day purposes.
Krystian Koliński

Transport policy requires greater territorial differentiation; at the local level, it should be closely integrated with education, health and social policies. This approach to transport policy contributed to the research and determined its area – the research was carried out among school students, and its aim (and that of this article) was to determine the accessibility of secondary schools in the Wągrowiec district via public transport. Many inhabitants of villages and small towns are forced to have a car or else face a whole host of difficulties. The most common difficulties include access to education, health care or better paid work.

Marcin Flieger
European Union programs are a vital source of financial help in the field of employment increase. Such initiatives are available both in structural programs, Community Initiatives and Community Programs. A great number of them are designed for communities, which, as an independent beneficiary or a partner in a project, can influence the improvement of local and regional labour market situation. One of the essential factors which influence the commitment to the initiatives for employment increase is the way beneficiaries perceive their attractiveness. Therefore, in the article the author presented results of the research in which communities’ attitudes to each activity connected to a labour market, available in EU programs, had been analyzed and assessed. This allowed to determine the initiatives which are perceived as the most desirable and which, according to communities, can best contribute to decreasing of the unemployment rate, and the ones which are the least attractive in this respect. Another part of the above research is the analysis of communities’ expectations regarding creating new initiatives for employment increase, which are not available within the limits of the current programs. This scrutiny allowed to estimate more precisely to what extent current activities match communities requirements. These results made it possible to assess to what degree the presumable lack of desirable initiatives for employment increase constitutes a factor that limits the commitment to the implementation of the currently available initiatives
Małgorzata Suchacka
The paper focuses on the transformation of human capital in the Silesia province and the formation process of the creative class. In the first part are described some theoretical assumption of human capital and creative class, and the history and specifics of the most important social groups in Silesia. In the second part the authors cite the main results of their research conducted in 2010–2011. In interviews, entrepreneurs, experts and policy makers recognized the existence of regional professionals and active individuals who operated at the level of enterprises and local communities. This confirms the assumption of the enclave nature of the formation process of the creative class in Silesia.
Grzegorz Gawron

The article discusses the idea of co-production, understood as informed and intentional participation of citizens in the organisation and provision of public services in the context of the global ageing process, a phenomenon which necessitates actions aimed to secure the needs of older people. The basis for the empirical investigation was a study carried out under the aegis of a WHO agency, the Centre for Health Development in Kobe, Japan. It offers an analysis of the case studies of initiatives addressed to elderly people in the local communities of 10 selected developing countries (Chile, China, Iran, Libya, Russia, Serbia, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Ukraine, Vietnam). The key criterion in the selection of the analysed projects was direct involvement of institutional and non-institutional representatives of local communities in their implementation. As a participant (researcher) of this international survey, the author analyses the observable manifestations of silver co-production characterising the individual initiatives.

Ewa Łaźniewska, Izabela Janicka, Tomasz Górecki

The ecological activity of municipalities can be a very important element increasing their attractiveness. Modern digital technologies offer intelligent solutions and help fulfil many economic and social demands related to environmental issues. The study primarily looked at the degree of activity of municipalities in the implementation of optional ecological projects and revealed a low level of participation of municipalities in cross-border projects. A questionnaire survey was designed as a universal tool for studying digital maturity in a cyclical, low-cost manner, which provides extensive information by verifying various areas of municipal activity and then formulating conclusions for climate and regional policies, etc. On the one hand, the study fostered the need to implement ecological projects, especially of a cross-border nature, and on the other hand, it disseminated knowledge and indicated various possible solutions.

Maciej J. Nowak, Przemysław Śleszyński

The article analyzes the problem of delays in the preparation of local spatial development plans in Polish communes. Data from the annual survey sent to local governments and carried out in cooperation with the Ministry of Economic Development and Technology and the Statistics Poland were used. On this basis, the categories of communes in which there is highly possible to identify occurring of planning works prolongation (referred to in the article as delays in drawing up plans), as well as its reasons, were identified. No territorial differentiation in this scope was found. The basic differentiation is related to the population of communes, i.e. the larger the commune in this respect, the greater the delays are. The interviews obtained from 16 communes (at 68 over 50,000 inhabitants, where the highest number of delays in preparing plans was identified) show that the main reasons for delays include problems related to public consultations and arrangements of draft plans, changing legal regulations, and staff shortages in commune offices. The article shows how these issues are related to the broader problems of the Polish spatial planning system. Further research directions were also proposed.

Maria Bednarek-Szczepańska

Planned large-scale animal farms are often the subject of protests by local communities due to the nuisance they generate. The active participation of local residents occurs at an early stage of the investment process, namely the proceedings for issuing an environmental decision, because it is at this stage that location and characteristics of the facility are determined. The article analyses 52 cases of proceedings to set the environmental conditions for the construction of animal farms in which there were documented protests of local residents. The aim of the paper is to determine the course of environmental proceedings for animal farms under the influence of residents’ protests, as well as to determine whether environmental conditions are eventually established. The statements of protesting residents are presented by means of references to the category of knowledge in decision-making (Glicken 1999, 2000; Edelenbos 2011). The study showed that despite the binding rule that public opposition cannot be the basis for refusing to set environmental conditions, the protesting residents indirectly influence the final, usually negative, result of the environmental impact assessment. By blocking the realisation of unwanted investments, they have a real impact on the shaping of the local space.

Dominika Bielecka
The article deals with determinants of efficient absorption of European Union`s structural funds by local authorities entities. It focuses on factors connected with civil society that distinguish different regions. As it was broadly recognized and explored, the "basis of civil society is the social capital of a region. Social capital includes networks and relationships between people that transmit their shared attitudes and values and therefore influences on structures of common initiatives undertaken by individuals and different groups in order to fulfill local societies` needs. The author studies to what extent social capital of different regions conditioned by cultural factors influences institutional efficiency of local authorities in Poland in relation to absorption of pre-accession fund SAPARD.
Paweł Swianiewicz

The article presents the history of decentralisation reforms in Ukraine beginning with the last decade of the 20th century until the end of the year 2021, with a special focus on the territorial-administrative reform implemented in 2015–2020. The level of local autonomy in Ukraine is compared to the local autonomy index in other European countries, which was created on the basis of the same methodology.

Łukasz Olejnik

This article contains the in-depth analysis of the distribution of funds from the Road Development Fund (RDF), the Local Government Investment Fund (LGIF), the 100 Bypass Road Programme, and the Strategic Investment Fund for possible alignment bias. It was demonstrated that in the case of every fund except the 100 Bypass Road Programme, municipalities ruled by the United Right received government grants significantly more often, or received higher grants. In the case of the LGIF, the scope of favouring was meaningful. To make the results robust, a set of control variables was used.

Dominika Wojtowicz, Bogusława Fudala
Structural funds – instruments of cohesion policy – are aimed to support local and regional development and to speed up regional convergence. For the last few years they have been the main source that enable realization of different activities and investments on local level in Poland. In the light of systematic extension of financial resources provided within structural funds effective absorption of those funds becomes a matter of great importance. Experience of previous implementation period gives some clues on the perspective of use of structural funds provided for Polish regions in 2007–2013 period. The results of previous research showed that effective absorption of pre-accession and structural funds depends on many both material and untouchable factors but the most important for effective absorption is adequate institutional system with procedures of programming, financial management, monitoring, evaluation etc. This paper presents the results of research conducted in 2008. The authors focused on three main areas: experience of 2004–06 period of implementation – identification of successes and barriers of structural funds implementation system, practical use of these experiences to improve institutional system for 2007–13 period and finally priorities of 16 Regional Operational Programmes realized in Polish voivodeships.
Sławomir Pastuszka
Poland as a rightful member of European Union has got a chance to participate in structural funds and Cohesion Fund as well. Taking into consideration the limited financial opportunities of territorial self-government units in projects co-financed by structural funds, presence of private sector means may be considered as a crucial factor. The scope and typology of public-private partnerships PPP have been presented in this study. The chances as well threats which may occur during the execution of investment ventures within the framework of public-private partnership have been presented there as well.
Wojciech Dziemianowicz, Klaudia Peszat, Kamil Przyborowski
The article discusses the results of empirical research on the competitiveness of municipalities covered by the Natura 2000 network. Authors conducted a correlation analysis of the share of the Natura 2000 sites in the general area of a municipality and the indicators characterizing dimensions of competitiveness and development. Questionnaire surveys were conducted among local governments in Poland. On this basis conclusions on the socio-economic situation of municipalities with a large share of Natura 2000 areas and the impact of this form of conservation for local development were formulated. The article is also an attempt to answer the question whether Natura 2000 actually delivers sustainable development, or simply forces environmental protection without taking into account social and economic needs of local communities.
Bohdan Jałowiecki
The author investigates the citizens perception of the impact of Polish-German border on local economies and communities in Western Poland. The research, based on the survey conducted in selected municipalities, reveals also the attitudes of the citizens towards the protection of natural environment and their opinion about the neighbours at both sides of the border. Finally, it attempts to assess the degree of citizens identification with the border area.
Adam Gendźwiłł, Tomasz Żółtak
The subject of the paper is the participation of non-partisan candidates in local elections in Poland after 2002. The analysis of the prevalence of non-partisanship provides information on the political parties’ performance at the local level. The paper presents analyses of electoral data from the local elections held in 2002, 2006, and 2010. We have used various indicators of non-partisanship which demonstrate the performance of non-partisans in municipalities of different size, the domination of non-partisan mayors over other candidates, the strength of their clubs in councils, and the disproportions of political support between them and their committees. The results of the research show that although the share of non-partisans in local authorities is still very high, it has been gradually decreasing since 2002.
Ewa Frąckiewicz
Competitive advantage of a region, beside its natural resources, is determined to a large extent by the quality and competence of local and regional authorities. In order to benefit from region`s full potential, it is essential to involve the authorities into efficient information policy. It is reflected by the results of a Poland-wide research, where 67% of respondents perceived that it was the creation of an information system enabling fast and accurate decision-making that was the key factor determining efficient management of a company. It is therefore important to analyse how the Western Pomeranian companies see the role and activities of local authorities in this aspect. Local governments play a unique part in information delivery as they represent a group of entities which should actively affect development conditions for companies in the region, within existing legal and administrative system. The paper presents results of the research on information policy in local governments in Western Pomerania.
Marcin Kleinowski
This article presents new risk analysis technique. The People and Property Hazard Analysis (PPHA) is probabilistic, semiquantitative technique, uncomplicated and easy to use. It provides more precise estimates of a risk level than preliminary hazard analysis – probably the most commonly performed technique by local governments in Poland. PPHA is applicable to the analysis of all types of communities and organizations. The purpose of the new technique is to provide a tool that can assist decision-makers in effectively allocating limited resources across the vast array of potential investments that could mitigate risk.
Joanna Nargiełło
Creditworthiness, similar to the ability of generating profit and efficient disposal of financial resources, is one of the basic elements of local governments’ financial potential, since it enables gaining additional funds for investment purposes. However, the possibility of obtaining credit is limited not only by law regulations, but also by economic restraints, which determine creditworthiness. Each time, before deciding about incurring debts or about financial involvement, banks as well as local governments themselves should analyze thoroughly the current and future budgets in respect of credit facilities.
Maciej J. Nowak
Municipal authorities should implement measures in order to balance their ecological, economic and social development. In order to do that, they need a method of assessing the environmental impact and a decision regarding the environmental conditions. The aim of this paper is to assess the impact of such a decision, issued by the municipal executive authorities, on the local development management. The author attempts to explain all of the above-mentioned problems: he analyzes the number and object of decisions regarding environmental conditions in twenty-three municipalities. In addition, he carries out a survey among the representatives of municipalities in order to assess the impact of the decision on the system community management.
Wiktor Adamus, Paweł Ptaszek
The goal of the paper is to indicate similarities and differences between strategic priorities of socio-economic development on the basis of research conducted in two local communities: Tymbark and Slopnice. The paper is based on a methodological approach called the AHP method, which is used to evaluate the benefits and costs of the basic criteria of socio-economic development and prioritizing models of development. The research indicates key factors of local development in the framework of the endogenous development paradigm. Moreover, the preferred development models have been chosen in the compared communities.
Lucyna Rajca

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.

Włodzimierz Durka, Ryszard Czyszkiewicz
Researchers do not study territorial origins of students very often. However, it is a very important determinant of connections between universities and their social surroundings. A regional character of a university may be an essential value for local communities, who need well-educated employees capable of working in local administration, economy, education, social care, security, culture, research etc. In the article, territorial and social origins of the Szczecin University students were analysed and it was proved that several regional ranges of recruitment existed. A range is determined by distances between students’ houses and the university, although evidences of local loyalty can be also seen.
Andrzej Miszczuk
The aim of this paper is to analyze the effectiveness of raising and spending EU funds by the local government in Lublin in the first period of the Polish accession (2004–2006). The criteria of effectiveness we use are: increase of city competitiveness (attractiveness) and creating conditions for diffusion of development processes into the region. Compared to other Polish cities, Lublin had trouble raising EU funds. Besides, there was no innovative strategic vision of their spending. As a result, EU Cohesion Policy improved Lublin’s competitiveness and contributed to the development of the relations between the city and its region only to a small extent.
Sławomir Pastuszka
The absorption the European Union structural aid, available in 2007–2013 period, provides Poland the opportunity of fast development and improvement of life quality. A regional policy that will effectively use the structural funds may contribute to the improvement of infrastructure, development of entrepreneurship and restructuring of rural areas. The issue of absorption ability has to be considered with particular attention. This study – on the basis of experiences in implementing the Integrated Regional Operational Programme – points out some threats and bottlenecks limiting the potential absorption of funds. The barriers have been identified using the questionnaire based research on the experiences of local governments in the swietokrzyskie region.
Marek Furmankiewicz, Joanna Stefańska
This paper presents analysis of different connections between institutional participants of three area-based partnerships (LEADER Local Action Groups) that have been created in rural areas to coordinate actions which contribute to social and economic development of the respective regions. The relations in three partnerships located in different historical-cultural regions of Poland were analysed in the context of the social capital concept, using basic network relation indexes. Various types of interactions between agents (coordination, conflict, co-operation, control and competition) and flows (information, financial assets, human resources and tangible resources) have been analysed.
Janusz Heller
The aim of the research was to evaluate disproportions in Polish local governments’ income and their connection with the level of economic development of voivodeships. The basis of this evaluation was an analysis including the income of governments at a voivodeship, district and commune levels in 16 voivodeships in the years 2002–2006. In the initial stage of the research, a hypothesis was made that in the voivodeships that are at a higher level of economic development the income of local governments is also higher. The changes in law introduced on l January 2004 caused an increase of local governments’ income. The income increased at the fastest pace in the most developed regions, thus contributing to the deepening of development disproportions between voivodeships in Poland. These differences were only partially decreased by subventions from the state budget.
Agnieszka Szlaska
The article is devoted to the role of the local political elites in the process of local commune (gmina) development. The research was made in three municipalities that differ in terms of economic development and their location on the territory of Poland. The author discusses the relation between the social-economic awareness of the councillors and the commune development strategy. She confronts the strengths and weaknesses of the municipalities in question as perceived by the local decision-makers with their communal development strategies and the course of action undertaken. The analysis of the development strategies of the three communes shows different approaches to strategic planning that result from differing attitudes of the councillors towards the creation of economic progress which, in turn, have a fundamental influence on the functioning of local structures.
Grzegorz Gorzelak, Bohdan Jałowiecki
The article presents the results of a questionnaire received in Autumn 2013 from over 1,300 Polish municipalities whose population does not exceed 50 thousand people. The material obtained from this questionnaire offers exact data concerning the performance of local governments in promoting local economic development, as well as opinions and values shared by these governments. The research is related to a similar undertaking performed in mid-1990s, and confirms earlier hypotheses indicating that spatial differentiation of performance of the local governments in Poland has deep historical roots.
Marika Pirveli
This paper provides a review of structure and contents of Local Economic Development (LED) programmes. It also offers a list of data and information necessary to develop and implement such programmes. The author emphasises the difference in approach to LED by the researchers (theorists) and the practitioners, dealing with LED on every day basis. This gap, according to the author is in part a legacy centrally managed economy and is typical for the countries in transition period.
Marcin Będzieszak
The aim of this article is to identify the role of fees and user charges in the budgets of large cities (cities with county status) and policies of these entities in this regard. To achieve this goal, the article reviews the research on the importance of fees and user charges in local government finance, and analyses the role of fees and user charges in large cities finances in Poland from 2006 to 2012. The study confirms the global trend observable in different countries, i.e. the increasing importance of revenues from fees and user charges to local government budgets. Secondly, the relative size of revenues from fees and user charges in large cities in Poland are evening out. Thirdly, there are two key areas in terms of service charges: public transport and housing management.
Bartłomiej Kołsut, Przemysław Ciesiółka, Robert Kudłak
The article attempts to identify and analyze the actions undertaken in the cities of the Wielkopolska Voivodeship in the area of urban renewal in the 1999–2005 period as well as the direct and indirect effects of these actions. In order to reach this objective, we analyze the local renewal programmes as well as other strategic documents launched in the investigated cities. In addition, we employ the survey technique and conduct numerous in-depth interviews with the local actors of the renewal process in order to get better insights into the economic, societal and spatial context of the renewal process. As a result, we show that the actions undertaken by the cities of the Wielkopolska Voivodeship in the realm of urban renewal are hardly integrated (they are not comprehensive and do not complement each other in a given area) and dominated by infrastructural investments. In contrast, the economic and social projects remain rare and their consequences ambiguous. We also identify some unexpected, positive as well as negative, consequences of the renewal process, such as increasing engagement of local property owners, entrepreneurs and associations in the renewal actions as well as the problem of profiteering on the renewed areas.
Tomasz Skica, Agnieszka Bem
The article presents the role of territorial units in enterprise stimulation, discusses the factors that encourage local authorities to promote entrepreneurship or discourage them from using supporting instruments. The authors assess the current activity of local governments in the domain and they suggest potential changes in local policy regarding entrepreneurship stimulation. The article points out areas where improvement is possible despite the obstacles due to the existing legal framework
Przemysław Śleszyński
The paper includes the most important results of the project of the same title, carried out as part of a larger project “The Development Trends of the Mazovia Region”, implemented for the local government of the Mazowieckie voivodship in 2010?2012. It primarily concerned demographic and settlement issues related to the evolution of functional relations and linkages, spatial availability, as well as infrastructure and land use conditions. The main objective was to formulate the conditions which would ensure development, and to identify the factors and conditions that affected easy flow of development stimuli and better efficiency of the suburban zone and spatial cohesion of the Mazovia region. The horizon time of the project concerned the period after 1990 (diagnosis and retrospective study) and 2030 (forecast). The paper has a survey character, it reports on selected topics only, and its aim is to disseminate important research results.
Mikołaj Herbst, Jakub Rok

The goal of this article is to investigate the spatial allocation of human capital investment at the local level in Poland. In particular, this analysis refers to the funds within the Human Capital Operational Programme (POKL 2007–2013). The study is divided into the following parts: extrapolation of the algorithm for allocating the POKL funds between regions to the local level; comparison of the allocation based on the data from the period before the programme with the hypothetical allocation of the same funds based on the measurement done after the end of the programme (the „before-after” method); and a comparison of the intentional allocation of POKL funds with the observed actual absorption of funds at the local level in 2007–2015. The analysis carried out in this article proves that the final effect of POKL allocation at the local level is not a simple extension of the government’s plan of division expressed by an algorithm. The absorption of funds per capita differed between municipalities within individual voivodships, but more funds did not necessarily go to the areas that were particularly structurally burdened (according to the governmental algorithm). The „before-after” analysis leads to the conclusion that, in the period under study, development disparities increased, and development gap between eastern and western Poland deepened. The situation is particularly difficult in the territories of the so-called internal peripherals.

Marek Mazurkiewicz

The paper deals with the issue of filling seats without voting in elections to councils in municipalities with up to 20,000 inhabitants. In comparison to the local elections held in 2014, the number of such cases increased by 77% in the 2018 elections. It appears that the applicable election law, in particular Article 418 § 1 (the division of municipalities into single-seat constituencies), Article 434 § 1 and 2 (the election organisation rules applicable when the number of candidates equals the number of available seats), and Article 478 § 2 (the procedure for proposing candidates for the position of municipal leader or town mayor) of the Electoral Code, combined with the conditions determining local electoral competition, may facilitate the occurrence of the phenomenon of non-competitive elections that results, among other things, in low voter turnout.

Adam Gendźwiłł, Tomasz Żółtak

The article analyses the participation of nation-wide parties in the elections of local authorities: municipal councils and mayors. There is no empirical confirmation of the assumption that along with the democratic consolidation in Poland, political parties strengthen their presence in local governments. Between 2002 and 2018 the overall spread of national parties in local elections decreased, even though the national party system (at the parliamentary arena) was relatively consolidated. The level of political parties’ engagement in local authorities, despite the changes in the level of parties’ support, is relatively stable – and low: no more than one third of elected local officials in Poland are affiliated with political parties. Among parliamentary parties, only four: PO, PiS, PS and SLD, maintained their significant representation in local governments, but the share of power at the local level which they were able to win varied considerably. LPR and Samoobrona rapidly lost their significance after their defeat in the 2007 parliamentary elections. The “new parties” established later failed to secure representation at the local level. The analyses confirm a positive (and stable over time) relationship between the level of party politicisation of local governments and the size of the municipality.

Katarzyna Radzik-Maruszak
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.
Dorota Mantey
The aim of the paper is to identify different visions and expectations of the citizens and the local government regarding the development of their suburban space, which are a source of potential spatial conflicts. It discusses contradictory interests of all the people living in the suburban area, certain groups of inhabitants, and local authorities. The paper characterizes different types of conflicts, including spatial ones. The conflicts in the suburbs are generated by a desire to keep the suburban character of the place of residence, the primacy of property rights and individual interests over collective ones, and excessive development ambitions of local authorities. Considerations on spatial conflicts in a suburban zone are illustrated by the results of two surveys carried out in the Lesznowola municipality near Warsaw, one on a representative sample of residents throughout the whole municipality (394 persons), and the other on a representative sample of residents of Mysiadło (305 people).
Anna Kołomycew, Agnieszka Pawłowska
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.
Tomasz Skica, Andrzej Kiebała, Tomasz Wołowiec
Discounts and rebates in local taxation are a very media-friendly topic, yet the opinions on the stimulating function of taxation are not supported by meaningful research. The article presents the impact of local governments’ decisions regarding reductions in the tax on means of transport on the location of entities subject to such a tax within the community. The article has a multi-dimensional character, as it is impossible to limit oneself to researching a simplistic relation between tax rates and the number of registered payers of the tax. One must consider additional factors, e.g. the location of new tax payers within a community will also indirectly impact estate taxes, CIT revenues, even the additional revenues from the personal income tax paid by employees. Therefore, it is vital to approach the consequences of local government decisions relating to changes in transport taxation multi-dimensionally.
Sławomira Kańduła
The subject of the paper is the discussion on horizontal redistribution of public revenues among local self-government units. The assumed aim of this redistribution is to equalize the different levels of income and burden of expenditure. The paper lists desirable features of this redistribution, motives for its application, and arguments of its opponents. The analysis of the latter shows that while part of the criticism refers to the essence of horizontal redistribution, significantly more of it concerns the dysfunctions of its mechanism which became apparent after 2008. The criticism focuses, for example, on the criteria for making compensatory payments, the structure of tax revenue indices, the so-called reference period, the amounts of compensatory payments, the criteria for the distribution of the collected amounts. The paper includes suggestions concerning recommended directions of changes in the mechanism of this redistribution.
Arkadiusz Tuziak
The article presents innovation issues in public administration in the Podkarpacie region. In the situation of progressing territorial development, widely understood innovation is the ability to create, put into practice and disseminate it. This ability is the condition to raise competitiveness of the regional economy, while increasing the opportunity to achieve success in the escalating competition between the regions. Taking into account that local and regional authorities play the major role in the modernizational and developmental processes, the analyses and characteristics included in the article are concentrated on the diagnosis of the competence of public administration employers. The range of the above mentioned competence is the management of the local and regional development and the economy development based on the knowledge. Identification and description of the restrictions and barriers of innovation in the council and government administration were considered as well. The study is based on the results of the empirical research which aim was to recognize attitudes and actions of public administration in the Podkarpacie region, realized within the confines of the purposeful project of the Science and Informatics Ministry: "The Regional Strategy of Innovation of the Podkarpacie Province".
Sylwia Dołzbłasz
The aim of this paper is to identify the character of transborder cooperation on the local level in the Polish-Czech borderland with a special focus on the transborder relations network. To this end, the author analyzes cooperation co-financed under Poland-Czech Republic Cross-Border Cooperation Programme 2007–2013 in the framework of ETC and examines all realized Project and all beneficiaries, i.e. 250 projects and 350 Polish and Czech institutions. Due to the mountainous character of the Polish-Czech borderland, special attention is paid to projects concerning tourism. The research reveals that the cooperation network is poorly developed. However, the most import ant nodes in this network are clearly visible and they are the most active institutions that shape the relations of transborder cooperation.
Barbara Szymoniuk
The objective of this paper is to demonstrate how the development of European peripheries can be strengthened by cooperative clusters, viewed as loose business organizations where cooperation of partners results in a synergy effect. The existence of clusters in peripheral areas may give efficient solutions to many problems, such as unemployment or the need of restructuring regional economy. Partnership of clusters may add up to their competitiveness thanks to the home demand. The present paper presents an example of the Lubelskie Region, the most neglected region in Poland. It is argued here that cooperation among local clusters provides a chance for an increase in the region’s social activity and for its economic growth.
Łukasz Drozda
The institutionalized revitalization process is an important tool of contemporary Polish public policy. According to the declarations of local authorities, its programmes are designed to support the development of so-called degraded spaces and the effort against social exclusion of their inhabitants. However, as the analysis of municipal revitalization programmes (GPR) in the biggest cities reveals, planned revitalization leads to gentrification of a urbanized area and is therefore more conducive to segregation than to social inclusion. This paper discusses the relationships between revitalization and gentrification on the basis of the content and assumptions of urban regeneration programmes. It is based on the literature and on selected GPRs.
Artur Bajerski
Referring to three case studies, the author makes an attempt to understand the basis of conflicts concerning changes in school catchment areas in rural districts of Poland, and the importance of the implemented changes for local authorities, parents, and rural communities. The research shows that such conflicts arise from misunderstandings between parents and local authorities concerning the essence of new assignments to catchment areas, irrespective of the fact whether schools were closed or not. Additionally, changing school catchment zones resulted in each of the cases in the parents’ increased activity when choosing a school, and made them feel that rural areas were marginalized.

Szanowni Czytelnicy, Autorzy i Recenzenci!

Z kwartalnikiem „Studia Regionalne i Lokalne” jestem związana niemal od początku jego istnienia. Mój pierwszy tekst ukazał się w czwartym numerze pisma w 2000 roku – pierwszym roku jego istnienia. Od tego czasu moje związki ze „Studiami” stopniowo się zacieśniały. Czytałam i recenzowałam artykuły, weszłam w skład redakcji, a teraz staję przed wyzwaniem kierowania naszym kwartalnikiem, zastępując pomysłodawcę i pierwszego redaktora naczelnego, profesora Grzegorza Gorzelaka, który budował kwartalnik z dbałością o jego jakość i rozpoznawalność.

Przejmując funkcję redaktorki naczelnej „Studiów”, czuję dumę i ekscytację. Z jednej strony, wchodzę w nową rolę ze świadomością, że będę kierować jednym z najlepszych czasopism w dziedzinie nauk społeczno-ekonomicznych w Polsce, pismem o uznanej pozycji, indeksowanym w SCOPUS, przyciągającym dobre teksty i świetnych Autorów, pismem, które pełni ważną funkcję w dyskusji naukowej. Z drugiej strony, już dziś wiem, że musimy dokonać wielu zmian, podyktowanych rosnącą konkurencją w zakresie publikacji naukowych i trendami związanymi z koniecznością udostępniania tekstów w formie elektronicznej i wymogami wolnego dostępu do prac naukowych finansowanych ze środków publicznych. Przygotowuję się, wspólnie z dr Dorotą Celińską-Janowicz, która szczęśliwie nadal będzie koordynować prace w redakcji kwartalnika, do podjęcia decyzji wzmacniających prestiż pisma, wykorzystując do tego także nowe możliwości techniczne i finansowe, które współprojektowałam w ramach Inicjatywy Doskonałości Uniwersytet Badawczy, uruchomionej na Uniwersytecie Warszawskim.

Chciałabym wspólnie z Państwem przeprowadzić te zmiany, by w najbliższych
latach „Studia Regionalne i Lokalne” wzmocniły swoją pozycję i cieszyły się niesłabnącym zainteresowaniem Autorów i Czytelników. Kierowanie kwartalnikiem to duża odpowiedzialność, jednak ze wspaniałym zespołem Redaktorów, Recenzentów, Autorów i gronem wytrawnych Czytelników, przy wsparciu Wydawnictwa Naukowego Scholar, podołamy temu zadaniu. Zapraszam Państwa do współtworzenia naszego pisma!

Agnieszka Olechnicka
1 października 2020 r.

 

Adam Gendźwiłł, Tomasz Żółtak, Jakub Rutkowski
The authors consider the problem of limited supply of candidates for mayors. Since 2002, most electoral committees in Polish municipalities have only participated in the elections for municipal councils and not for the principal executive office. Between 2002 and 2010, there was also a growing share of municipalities in which only one candidate ran. The logistic regression analysis demonstrates that the electoral committees’ decision whether or not to nominate a candidate is influenced by their size (popularity), as well as the size of the municipality. If there is a dominating committee and competing incumbents, it is less probable that another candidate would run. It is evident that the well-known effect of incumbency advantage works not only during the elections but also before them (when candidates are registered).
Agnieszka Sobol, Monika Krakowiak-Drzewiecka

Investment policy is a driving force in the transformation of cities. It plays a significant role both in terms of daily living conditions and in the long-term consequences of decisions that are taken. The residents’ opinions about the investment policy should be accorded a special value. The aim of this paper is to analyse and estimate the scale of empowerment of the investment policy of all 71 cities of the Śląskie Voivodeship. Three models of residents’ participation are used in the paper: symmetric, consultative and asymmetric. The questionnaire survey and desk research form the basis for assigning cities to the proposed models. The analysis reveals that the mechanism of empowerment is becoming more and more important for Silesian local governments, although residents’ involvement in urban investment policies is still far from satisfactory.

Katarzyna Szmigiel-Rawska
The paper describes the effects of the policy of Polish cities concerning climate change. The study uses a questionnaire carried out in all Polish municipalities, and four case studies. The analysis is based on the concept of local knowledge orders. In Polish local government policy, instead of talking of climate change, the officials prefer referring to efficiency in obtaining external funds, savings, or actions meant to raise the quality of life. The term climate change policy is rarely used.
Alexander Tölle
Integrated forms of planning and managing local development are seen today as essential for implementing a successful development policy. This is emphasized by the high priority of these forms in EU local development approaches. In his analysis, the author contrasts the Polish and the German planning system in order to evaluate the compatibility of the Polish spatial planning system with the requirements of integrated local development planning and management. The analysis concerns the areas defined as having key importance for integrated form of local development, i.e. the organization of planning and participation processes, the role given to planning documents in spatial management, and the availability of operational planning tools. The identified major differences between the two systems lead to the assumption that the Polish planning system hardly sustains integrated forms of planning and managing local development, as it is solely oriented towards regulating spatial development schemes.
Robert Gawłowski, Adam J. Jarosz

For many years, public participation has been a very popular subject of research and of interest for practitioners. Little attention has been devoted, however, to the issues of formal and organizational tools of managing this process. The paper contains the results of research aimed at creating the concept of participation infrastructure and at measuring its application in 17 Polish cities. For these purposes, the authors develop their own method of examining the practical use of participation tools. Typologies of participation tools are created and cities are classified according to their advancement, basing on the results of the research. The most popular and most willingly used tools are indicated, together with the levels of their implementation.

Robert Pyka

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.

Beata Namyślak

The present paper focuses on creative clusters in Poland. Its main goal is to determine the factors behind the establishment of creative clusters and the factors limiting their activity. The study is based on data provided by cluster facilitators, and the CATI and CAWI methods are used for analysis. The study shows that the most important factors contributing to the creation of clusters are internal: the willingness to cooperate, especially between knowledgeable entities, and to strengthen market position and the range of influence. The barriers are: reluctance to share knowledge, the advantage of rivalry over cooperation, poorly perceived flow of employees in clusters (internal factors), as well as dependence on external financing and lack of interest on the part of local government units (external factors).

Magdalena Lesińska, Kamil Matuszczyk

Migration management is one of the key tasks faced by regional authorities in Poland, which experience deepening processes of shrinking and ageing of population. The aim of the article is to determine whether policy makers are aware of the role of migration processes and migration policy, to show their presence in demographic development strategies, and to describe the activities undertaken at the regional level in response to the ongoing demographic processes. The analysis is based on the example of the Łódzkie, Opolskie, and West Pomeranian voivodships. The article proposes an analytical model assuming a gradual process of decision-makers’ reaction to demographic changes. An analysis of documents and interviews with people responsible for regional demographic policy confirms they are aware of ongoing population processes and their consequences, at the same time, however, there is a lack of actions aimed at stimulating inflows of foreigners. The initiatives aimed at stopping the population from emigrating are more important.

Agnieszka Pawłowska

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.

Robert Pyka
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.
Robert Perdał, Paweł Churski, Tomasz Herodowicz, Barbara Konecka-Szydłowska

The article aims to identify the geographical dimension of social (in)justice in the context of the existing permanent differences in the level of socio-economic development in Poland from the geographical and historical point of view. It also discusses the consequences of these inequalities for development policy on regional and local levels. The study consists of two essential parts. The first one presents synthetic deliberations on the geographical aspect of the social justice discussed. In the second part, an attempt was made to exemplify a geographical dimension of social (in)justice through the analysis of the spatial distribution of the socio-economic development level (a synthetic indicator) and selected partial indicators. In addition, the presence of dependencies of the socio-economic development level and the degree of political support for political fractions proclaiming the slogan of “social justice” was verified. The results of the conducted research confirm the existence of considerable developmental differences in the Polish space. Their strength is historically determined and, despite the passage of time, their pattern invariably corresponds to the former partition boundaries. These disparities are not minimised and the influence of economic growth on the income rise remains limited, especially in economically weaker areas, which leads to growing social dissatisfaction. As a result, one can conclude that in Poland those differences constitute the geographical dimension of social (in)justice.

Krzysztof Kluza, Ryta Dziemianowicz

As a consequence of the global financial crisis which began in 2008, the amount of debt of the local government sector in OECD countries has remarkably increased. In Poland, the debt of local governments has started to fall gradually after reaching its peak in nominal terms in 2014. In this article, we examine how the ability of local governments to repay their debts changed over the 2007-2016 period. The analysis reveals that, despite their considerable nominal indebtedness, local governments had already returned to a strong debt repayment capacity at the end of 2016, observed formerly at the end of 2009. However, at the end of 2016, one in eight local governments had become overindebted in terms of their repayment capacity, despite the rigorous statutory debt limits imposed in Poland. The most worrying situation is in towns with county rights: in 33% of these entities, the debt repayment period is estimated at longer than 15 years. This category represents 33% of Poland’s population, and therefore it is of a systemic importance.

Jacek Wasilewski, Michał Kotnarowski, Witold Betkiewicz

The article focuses on the beliefs of the regional political elites in Poland about the models of democracy, operationalised as opinions about political representation, direct democracy and elite integration. The empirical basis is a questionnaire survey of 400 members of regional political elites carried out in 2017. The sample consists of 400 councillors of the 2014-2018 term of regional (voivodship) assemblies and town councils of big cities. The data show that an incoherence of views characterises the regional political elite: they do not form a more general vision of the democratic process, and detailed opinions on representation, direct democracy and elite integration poorly correlate with independent variables, including those describing political affiliations, i.e. party affinity or location on the left-right scale. The primary explanation for this incoherent image is the thesis about the lack of professionalisation of the regional elite.

Agnieszka Bieda
The article aims to verify the relationship between the value of real estate and urban renewal. The analysis was conducted for undeveloped land properties traded between 2006 and 2014. In that period, a time trend was set for the real estate from the areas covered by the Local Revitalization Programmes and the areas located in their immediate vicinity. The observed trends of the changes were compared with those occurring at the same time throughout Krakow, as well as in the areas specified in the Urban Revitalization Programme for Krakow as potential revitalization complexes, for which no local revitalization programmes were eventually prepared. In addition, the author analyzed how transaction prices were distributed in space over the specific years. The obtained land value maps were compared with the records of the documents which formed the basis for the urban renewal of Krakow.
Stanisław Flejterski, Magdalena Zioło
The problem of centralization and decentralization is very interesting and important in management science, political science, sociology, political economy, economics and regional sciences. The discussion over the centralization versus decentralization is a never-ending one. It is an age-old battle of standardization versus autonomy, corporate efficiency versus local effectiveness and pressure on costs and resources versus accommodation of specific local needs. The advantages of each model are, in essence, the disadvantages of the other. Decisions to decentralize or centralize must be derived from a careful cost–benefit analysis. The debate over whether to centralize or decentralize is not so much over which type of strategy is more effective but the degree to which each strategy is used in combination with one another.
Adam Gendźwiłł, Tomasz Żółtak
The paper presents the basic consequences of the introduction of single-member districts (the FPTP system) in municipal elections in Poland. The authors analyze the results of the 2010 and 2014 elections (before and after the electoral reform). Basing on the difference-in-differences research scheme, the paper presents changes in the municipalities where either block- -voting or proportional representation systems were replaced by the FPTP. The empirical analyses demonstrate that the change from the BV to the FPTP system brought only marginal effects. The replacement of the PR system by the FPTP was more visible. Quite paradoxically, it increased the number of committees competing in the elections. However, the disproportionality and the share of wasted votes increased significantly, while the fragmentation of local councils decreased. In the municipalities previously using a proportional representation system, the number of candidates decreased visibly; contrary to the initial assumptions, its impact was neutral to the share of elected female councillors. The introduction of the FPTP system significantly limited the already weak presence of nation-wide political parties in local councils.
Krzysztof Błażejczyk, Anna Błażejczyk, Magdalena Kuchcik, Paweł Milewski, Jakub Szmyd
The last decades have brought intensive development of urban areas. In many Polish cities, including Warsaw, such development takes place without obligatory local plans. Thus, administrative permission decisions concerning any investment are prepared on the basis of so-called studies of conditions and directions of spatial planning. The aim of the present paper is to discuss how general plans of spatial development in Warsaw can influence some features of its climate which are important for the quality of life of Warsaw citizens. Special attention is paid to Urban Heat Island.
Waldemar A. Gorzym-Wilkowski

Spatial planning is one of key tasks of regional (voivodship) local government in Poland. A spatial development plan for a voivodship includes many aspects which need to be decided upon. However, the implementation of this plan is largely independent of the will of the local government. The theory of planning (including spatial planning) emphasises that implementation of the plan is an inherent aspect of planning. Therefore, the article analyses to what extent regional spatial planning can actually be considered planning.

Mieczysław Adamowicz, Paweł Janulewicz
The aim of the paper is to define and evaluate the level of local socio-economic development of largest cities in Poland, as well as the differences and disproportions which appeared between them in the years 2010-2012. The subject of the research were 30 cities in Poland whose population exceeded 120 thousand. These cities fulfil key roles in the country. A literature review and an empirical analysis were used as the base for this work. The data from the Local Data Bank (by CSO) were analyzed with the use of one of the taxonomic methods – the Hellwig development pattern method. Originally, 67 diagnostic variables were examined which, after verification, were cut down to 42 variables. Five groups of variables were distinguished: demographic figures, quality and availability of cultural and educational services, labour and social security conditions, housing conditions, and economic potential. Statistical description of the cities was prepared for all the groups of variables. The differences and disproportions between the cities were revealed. After reduction, 21 variables were used. Four groups of cities representing different levels of local development were distinguished. The results of the research allow for a comparative assessment of each city with reference to its characteristics. The research results showed substantial differences and disproportions in the level of local socio-economic development of the surveyed cities. The used method proved to be an adequate tool for local development analysis. The synthetic measures and indexes proved to be a useful tool of city management.
Marcin Bogdański

The author attempts to determine the size, structure and diversification of the economic base of towns and cities in the Warmińsko-Mazurskie Voivodship, as well as their evolution in the years 2008-2015. An additional objective is to determine the relationship between the level of economic growth of the examined units and the state of their economic base. The obtained results confirm the hypothesis that the economic sector is not a significant part of total employment in the surveyed units. At the same time, the exogenous employment structure is poorly diversified, and in the period under study it decreased even further, exposing local economies to external shocks. There is also a positive, although weak effect of the increase in local specialization on the level of revenue in local self-government units and on their level of unemployment.

Katarzyna Romańczyk

Revitalisation, which is defined as a planned process of restoring deprived areas, entails the difficult challenge of achieving long-lasting spatial, economic and social effects. In Poland, the accompanying inflow of European Union funds not only fosters a wide range of activities for entities involved in urban renewal, but also raises a question about the potential dysfunction of investments in deprived areas. Based on the experiences of Kraków, the paper presents some undesirable effects of projects implemented under the Local Revitalisation Programmes (LRP) in the years 2007-2013. The goal of the LRP projects was to promote the rehabilitation of deprived housing areas. The initial results, however, indicate that these projects are characterised by specific pitfalls, which include touristification, uniformisation, gentrification and social polarisation.

Igor Ksenicz

The aim of the article is to present the local government in Georgia. Among post-Soviet, non-EU states, Georgia may be praised for the greatest progress in reforming local and regional authorities. It does not mean, however, that the decentralisation process is over. It has been blocked mainly by the lack of own incomes of local governments and limitations of a political nature. In order to assess the state of development of local government in Georgia, the author has made a review of legislation and an analysis of press releases, statistical data and reports of experts. He also used a case study of the former mayor of Tbilisi, Gigi Ugulava.

Aldona Standar

The objective of this paper is to present the role of the relationship between the location and financial performance of local government units. One of Poland’s largest voivodships, Wielkopolskie, was used as an example. Recent acceleration of suburbanisation processes not only results in socioeconomic changes in municipalities surrounding cities but also affects their financial performance. To attain the aforesaid objective, this study used variance analysis to investigate the significance of the differences in the financial ratios between the units analysed by location (measured as the distance of rural municipalities from district towns and from Poznań, the region’s capital). The research proved that the closer a municipality is to an urban centre, the greater its financial autonomy, liquidity and investments, yet at a higher level of debt. Also, the proximity to Poznań is a better determinant of the differences in financial performance than the location close to smaller urban centres.

Paweł Swianiewicz, Julita Łukomska
Debates on the impact the size of sub-national jurisdiction has on the costs of public service delivery have a very long tradition, but in spite of multiple empirical studies, results are still far from conclusive. Methodologically rigid studies of the relationship, based on data from Poland, have been so far very rare and the paper tries to contribute to filling the gap in our knowledge. The authors apply a quasi-experimental scheme of synthetic control method for Polish county and municipal fragmentation to analyze the impact of territorial reform on administrative spending as well as on the operating surplus of the budget. The analysis clearly confirms the existence of the economy of scale in administrative services. The result concerning operating surplus is less clear. There are signs of scale economies on a county level, but the results for municipalities are more ambiguous – there are unexpected signs of positive impacts of fragmentation (diseconomy of scale) occurring after a transitional period related to the high transaction costs of the reform. The difference between the results for counties and municipalities may be interpreted as a result of: (1) the larger financial autonomy of Polish municipalities; (2) the different scope of services delivered by both tiers; (3) the fact that municipalities are more embedded in local communities, allowing them to utilize potential benefits of small scale, as suggested by public choice theory.
Paweł Swianiewicz
The article discusses the results of empirical research conducted in ca 50 municipalities located in four Polish regions. The authors conduct desk research of official documents, questionnaires and in-depth interviews with local government staff and politicians, and present differences and similarities in opinions on various Operational Programmes. The article discusses all stages of applying for EU grants: from selection of an Operational Porgramme to the final decision of the Managing Authority on the list of selected projects. It refers to issues arising from formal procedures, the passionate character of the competition for funds in individual Operating Programmes, as well as informal mechanisms of influence on the outcome of the selection processes. Unlike earlier research, the article discusses the changes in the Programmes implemented within the 2004-2006 and 2007-2013 perspectives.
Maciej Onasz, Michał Klonowski
The paper is an attempt to analyze the reform of the local government electoral system introduced by the Act of January 11, 2018. The authors of the study describe the most important changes from the point of view of the citizens mentioned in the title of the act as well as of the institutions involved. Among the most important changes the authors list those related to passive voting right, seat allocation method and the structure of constituencies. Because of the lack of an appropriate time perspective, the authors limit themselves to legal and political analysis, pointing only to their possible consequences.
Olga Mrinska
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.
Dominika Wojtowicz, Tomasz Kupiec
The paper examines whether EU funds may encourage local and regional development in the Lubelskie voivodship. The authors compare the actual structure of support in 2007?2013 with the necessary conditions of a positive and sustainable result of financial assistance found in the literature. In addition, six case studies were carried out to explore the mechanisms of support at the local level. The analysis shows the dominance of infrastructure spending and support for rural areas. Low expenditure on economic and knowledge capital is accompanied by virtually no support for social capital and administration quality improvement. Funds at the local level are often used purely as social aid. The observed ways of spending the funds may lead to petrifaction of an unfavourable regional economic structure, and do not ensure growth of production factors productivity
Grzegorz Gorzelak, Mikołaj Herbst, Agnieszka Olechnicka
Warmia-Mazury region, one of the poorest in Poland, faces the deepest (as compared to all regions of the EU) labour market crisis. The mixture of social and economic problems represents a huge challenge for regional authorities. The chances for fast improvement are limited by several factors, such as low quality of transport infrastructure, low innovation potential and productivity, large share of unskilled labour force, etc. One necessary condition of the improvement is the reform of public finances at country level. Nonetheless, regional authorities should undertake the activity in order to increase the potential of human capital in the region, e.g. by improving the quality of schools. While directly fighting unemployment more effort should be put on stimulating the demand side of the labour market and co-operation with NGOs.
Elżbieta Michałowska
The article describes a local conflict which arose when the decision on the establishment of the Brzeziny district (powiat) had been waived at the last moment. This resulted in strong protests of the inhabitants, who hoped that the district authorities would be located in Brzeziny. The conflict impaired the local community`s ability to exercise its political function and to execute public tasks. Two opposed groups emerged in the local community: representatives of the local authority and people connected with them on the one hand, and the protest committee, later the Teraz Brzeziny (Time for Brzeziny) association, on the other. The consequence of this local conflict, taken as a model, is mutual adaptation of both opposing sides. In Brzeziny, the adaptation took the form of a compromise negotiations between the government authorities and local community`s representatives, which brought a solution to the problem. As a result of the compromise, the Brzeziny district has been established, however not within the originally planned boundaries.
Grzegorz Masik
The paper begins with an analysis of policymaking principles and responsibilities of local authorities in Poland. Next, outputs of local policies at the level of the gmina are presented in a case study of the suburban area of the Gdansk agglomeration. Chosen features of local policies are pointed out as a basis for comparison of the local districts. The decisions taken by local governments allow to classify types o local policy. For instance, while some of the local districts prefer investments in social infrastructure, other are more inclined to invest in technical infrastructure. Only two out of seven local governments create and implement policies which can be identified as sustainable.
Karolina Borońska-Hryniewiecka
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.
Grzegorz Krawczyk
The aim of the paper is to analyze the level of economic development and its dynamics in the cities and towns in the eastern region between 1995 and 2015. The objects of the study were 54 cities and towns of the region. The source of the data for the analysis was the Local Data Bank of the Central Statistical Office. Taxonomic analysis, no-pattern method was used for the study. Ten variables were analyzed during the studied period. They were divided into those referring to budgets of municipalities/communes, national economy entities, and the labor market. As a result of the analysis, it was discovered that 50 cities and towns showed signs of development in the period. It was observed that the diversification of the level of economic development of cities and towns of the eastern region in the spatial layout did not decrease. It was also stated that the accession of Poland to the European Union had an impact on the growth of dynamics indexes of changes for the towns and cities.
Janina Kotlińska
Self-government-owned properties, and especially local ones, are primarily owned by urban and urban-rural communities. Many of them constitute municipal real estate resources and serve the collective needs of both members of the local community and visiting outsiders. These properties need constant budget expenditures (both current and asset-related). Some of them generate income that is a small percentage of total municipal budget revenues. However, the income from their sale can be much higher if the local authority decide to sell it and someone wants to buy it. The interests of both sides do not meet often enough. Not all municipal properties are for sale, and those that are do not always meet buyers’ needs. Very often the value of a property is different in the owner’s and the potential buyer’s opinion. The purpose of the study is to answer the following questions: 1) Do municipal properties have market value and does their sale price reflect their value?, 2) What are the determinants of municipal property price and for what reasons do local authorities decide to sell them?, 3) Are all municipal properties equally attractive to buyers?, 4) What revenues has the sale of municipal real estate generated for municipal budgets in the recent years?
Dagmara Kociuba, Małgorzata Bielecka

The aim of the study is to examine the impact of the amendment to the Municipal Self-Government Act (hereinafter: MSGA; Journal of Laws 2018, item 994) on the implementation of participatory budgeting (PB) in 2019 and 2020 in Polish voivodship cities. Using the desk research method, 36 PB regulations and over 3.4 thousand projects were selected for implementation in 10 categories: 1) sports (investment and other), 2) leisure and recreation (investment and other), 3) construction or modernisation of sidewalks, 4) construction or modernisation of streets, 5) pedestrian walkways, 6) parking lots, 7) lighting, 8) city bicycles (bicycle infrastructure), 9) modernisation of buildings, and 10) other (e.g. educational, cultural, training). Detailed studies were carried on the influence of legislative changes on: 1) financial mechanisms; 2) principles and organisation of the budgeting process; 3) generic structure of projects; 4) participatory budgeting model. In order to verify the results obtained, changes in the PB regulations not resulting from the MSGA provisions were additionally analysed. It was shown that the amendment to the Act had a significant impact on the implementation of PB in all the analysed cities. The changes mainly concerned the financial and formal-organisational aspects of participatory budgeting process. The most crucial ones include: increase in the size of the overall subsidies (in 15 cities), modification of the distribution of the financial means (9), introduction of letters of support at the stage of project submission (7) and appeal procedure (9). Among the “non-statutory” activities, the abolition of age limits in the remaining 7 cities should be mentioned. These activities brought positive effects on the increase in turnout (15), the number of projects selected for implementation (12) and their average value (13). On the other hand, the changes in MSGA did not affect the generic structure of the projects (in both years, in 10 cities the category “leisure and recreation” prevailed, and 1149 projects from this category were selected for implementation). The final unification of the PB implementation model in Polish voivodship cities has been completed. Finally, three modes of PB implementation according to the new rules were indicated: financial, procedural and combined.

Katarzyna Zajda
One of the challenges for the contemporary Polish village is the transformation of its economic structure. It is necessary not only to create new jobs in the non-agricultural sector, but also to increase the competitiveness of enterprises. In their activities, entrepreneurs may use local resources in an innovative way. The author of the present article focuses on the following question: “What is the potential of entrepreneurs as far as the innovation based on local resources is concerned?”. Innovation is defined as a way of using local resources which emphasizes the specificity of an area. In her research (undertook in 2012), the author analyzed the local resources of the Pilica River Valley and the applications for support (from Rural Development Programme 2007–2013) submitted by the entrepreneurs to the local action group. The entrepreneurs (in their activity) do not use the resources which have been identified in the local development strategy. The additional funding allowed them to increase the competitiveness of their companies, but was not used to make their activities more innovative.
Urszula Kaźmierczak
Rock mining is popular and characterized by the exploitation of local deposits, which are used as a bargaining chip in local economic and socio-political politics. The aim of the paper is to analyze the impact of rock mining on the local economy of Polish communes. A contextual analysis was performed of inflows to the communes’ budgets resulting from the exploitation of rock minerals, the contribution of rock mining in the creation of local jobs was assessed, and the benefits from reclamation and development of post-mining areas were estimated. To do all that, the Author used the method of indicator analysis of local government units and stochastic methods of data analysis, as well as inference based on collected data. Studies have shown that rock mining is a factor supporting the local economy. Benefits from the exploitation of rock minerals should be taken into consideration in the development of plans concerning mineral rock deposits.
Andrzej Młodak
In this paper, we present the most important problems and development perspectives concerning the collection and analysis of data on Polish metropolises. The basic issues described in this context are: the definition of metropolis and functional city, sources of statistical information, methods of estimating missing data, and some persisting organizational and methodological problems. A special attention is paid to advantages and challenges of Poland’s participation in various international projects relating to regional statistics, such as URBAN AUDIT, EURAREA, etc. The former project provides many interesting propositions concerning assessment of living conditions of urban population and delimitation of metropolitan areas based mainly on a concept of the city’s scope of action. The latter is aimed at construction, development and research on the usefulness of theoretical tools of small area estimation. Moreover, we look at the potential of Polish regional statistics in terms of observation of metropolises and stimulation of their functioning, from the analytical point of view and in order to support decision-making at the local level.
Janusz Heller
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.
Andrzej Raczyk, Kamila Graczyk
The purpose of this paper is to analyze cities’ promotion and information policy regarding the development of economic activity. The study was carried out in the form of electronic audit and evaluation of the official websites of 306 cities in Poland. On this basis, promotion and information policy was assessed and its spatial diversity analyzed. The analysis revealed significant diversity of actual involvement of local self-governments in enhancing investment attractiveness of cities. It seems that in most cases such policy either does not exist at all, or is hardly implemented. The study also shows a lack of cohesion as well as temporariness of marketing activities undertaken.
Anna Gąsior-Niemiec, Georg Glasze, Dorothea Lippok, Robert Pütz

The paper discusses the development of gated and guarded housing estates in the Polish capital city of Warsaw. It contains a presentation of recent empirical findings based on a series of field research carried out since the 1990s in the city with a special focus on its largest residential district of Ursynów. Detailed mappings of the researched housing estates are included, which evidence their rapid spread in the district. An attempt at classifying the housing estates according to different clusters of their physical design is made. A functional analysis of their physical features is carried out against the background of a global discourse of in/security which is presumed to play a major role in the development of contemporary cities. However, several local factors, which have a bearing on gating the city of Warsaw, are also reflected upon.

Tomasz Wołowiec
Parishes possess a wide selection of instruments for stimulating the development of entrepreneurship, unfortunately the instruments are rarely used as part of a complex, well thought-out strategy that brings about multi-level results. The instruments for entrepreneurship stimulation belong to two major categories: financial and non-financial. One of the primary reasons for investors to select a particular parish can be the existence of a planned and long-term fiscal policy, connected to a stable system of tax preferences in taxes and local fees, and an active strategy for parish investment expenditures. Creating positive conditions for the emergence of new enterprises is the best source of social-economical activation of the local population.
Adam Wojciechowski
Sociological research on the social bonds so far has analysed causes and a degree in which the community does not meet requirements of the traditional community any more. Modern research on the nature and the structure of local communities have introduced a new typology which reflects the advanced state of modern social bonds. Social relationships between the residents of cities and countries are reduced the number of the partners as well as people who seem to have the role of the partner decrease and the contact circles are homogenous as regards the socio-professional affiliation of partners. Interactions partners are willing to offer their help although they claim that they seldom use it and if only they turn to somebody for help it will be the closest family.
Justyna Wasil, Katarzyna A. Kuć-Czajkowska, Monika Sidor
The issue of political leadership is widely studied and described in the literature. It should be noted that this problem can be analyzed both at the institutional and the individual level. The institutional factors determine the way of selecting local leaders and the scope of their competence. The individual features, on the other hand, create a leadership style. Cities have a presidential system with a strong mayor. In the case of cohabitation, though, this system can be destabilized because, instead of peaceful institutional co-existence, the institutions may be in conflict. After the local elections of 2014, half of the Polish municipalities had to confront the problem of cohabitation. The aim of this paper is to present the question of local leadership in the context of cohabitation.
Maciej Holko
Neoclassical economists usually think of “microfoundations” before they come to macroeconomics. We claim exactly the opposite: every microeconomic theory should be grounded in a credible macroeconomic model. Such a model may be the classical paradigm and Kaleckian economics, which are fundamentally different from the neoclassical paradigm. Thus, we will prove the following thesis: political economy is better than the neoclassical theory at describing and explaining contemporary regional development processes. State policy has a fundamental role to play in shaping regional development, while local authorities may perform an auxiliary function.
Elżbieta Anna Sekuła
The text is an essay of analysis of the relations and interactions between the main protagonists of the “Warsaw scene”: the local administration representatives, anthropologists and sociologists, architects, urbanists, journalists and common citizens. The author is trying to summarise the discourse about the public space in Warsaw and about the difficulties in communication that concern the public discussion on the topic. The aim of the analysis is also to define the place of Warsaw as a city that belongs as well to the Europeans’ metropolises and to the towns of the Third World at the same time. The main topic concerns the view of the public spaces and its social functions in case of Warsaw, the position and roles of the heroes of “the game of the city space”, the architectural and urbanistic structure, the citizens’ identity and other issues. The essay is based on the personal research and TNS OBOP’s surveys and discourse analysis of the media content.
Tomasz Zegar
This research concerns the relations between the community of metropolitan area of Warsaw, their character and influence. The article is focused on cooperation between the units of area, which is considered to play an essential role in the process of integration. The attempt has been made to estimate the scale and range of integration on metropolitan area. The research is based on surveys (questionnaires) answered by the local authorities of metropolitan area`s community. the analysis covers different partners, cooperation between them, as well as its aims and results. One of the major outcomes of the research is a map describing the network of interrelations. different zones of integration together with passive and active connections were identified on the basis of directions and intensity of cooperation.
Paweł Swianiewicz, Anna Kurniewicz
The concept of the political cycle was originally formulated with regard to decisions taken at the central level, but it may be also applied to the local level. Most of the previous empirical studies have focused on expenditure (how its size and structure change depending on the electoral cycle). The applicability of the concept to local tax policy has also been studied, although more rarely. In Polish studies of local public finance, the concept of political cycle has so far been rarely used. In this article, the authors check whether the theoretical frame of the political cycle is suitable for interpreting decisions relating to tariffs on local public services. It is empirically tested on tariffs on water and sewage, rents in municipal housing, tickets for local public transport and parking charges. The second research question concerns factors influencing the likelihood of the political cycle in different services. In this respect, the article puts forward four specific hypotheses. The authors have to face a methodological problem: the distinction between the influence of the electoral cycle and of other factors, such as inflation, or the change in the financial situation of local governments, and economic growth rate. The applied quantitative methods refer to panel logistic regression and linear regression models in which the impact of the electoral year is controlled by other variables.
Marek Furmankiewicz
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.
Leszek Porębski
The impact of ICT use is an important aspect of studies concerning the transformation of contemporary democracy. The paper presents results of the research project on the development of e-government in Polish self-government institutions, carried out between 2005 and 2012. Websites of all Polish territorial counties as well as all the communes in two voivodships were analyzed within the project. Results of the research indicate that the sophistication of the ICT use grows at both levels of self–government. At the same time significant regional differences in the development of e–government can be observed. Thus, the mode ICT is used by self-government institutions is the additional dimension of digital divide at local level.
Witold Betkiewicz, Agnieszka Jasiewicz-Betkiewicz
Big cities in Poland as well as abroad are the focus of many scientists of different disciplines. The authors of this study join these researchers and concentrate on a previously neglected segment of the Polish big cities’ political actors – city councillors. The aim of this paper is a socio-demographic description of the big city elite. The authors analyze its main characteristics: gender, age, occupational position, and local government experience. They also try to compare the big city elite with other parts of the political elite, especially with the simultaneously studied medium city elite. The paper is based on survey research conducted by the authors in the 12 biggest Polish cities.
Marcin Wiśniewski, Natalia Łukaszewska
The local government plays a huge role in supporting local development. In this paper, the authors present the results of conducted research concerning the impact of selected aspects of financial policy of the local government units on their development on the example of cities affiliated with the Union of Polish Metropolises. Therefore, firstly, they construct a synthetic indicator of local development and use it to assess the relative development of the analyzed cities. Then, they measure the relationship between the level of the cities’ relative development in the years 2007?2012 and the values of major categories of the units’ financial management in those years (per capita), in particular the amount of their debt, total and investment expenses, and expenditures on individual groups of local government tasks.
Dominik Sieklucki

The Act of 11 January 2018 amending certain acts in order to increase participation of citizens in the process of selecting, functioning and controlling certain public bodies (Journal of Laws 2018, item 130) obliged all local government units to establish a citizens’ resolution initiative and to regulate the basic procedures related to the preparation and submission of applications by a resolution of their law-making body. The article analyses the implementation activities undertaken in cities with county rights. It indicates that before the entry into force of the Act, 55 cities out of 66 had already implemented such an arrangement, and, in their case, the Act helped unify the procedures. The article also points out that some cities did not implement these regulations before the beginning of the 8th term of office of local governments, and in several cases there were problems with the implementation, which prevented citizens from exercising their resolution initiative. The article presents the legal status as of 31 December 2019.

Marta Lackowska
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.
Agnieszka Kozera
The debt of local government units (LGU) is part of the public debt. Therefore, the analysis of the phenomenon of local government debt is important for the financial security of the state. In Poland, in the period 2007–2013, the debt of local government units rapidly increased, in particular in the major cities with poviat rights – metropolises. Due to the dual nature of metropolises, they perform many important tasks in the social and infrastructure sphere that determine the quality of life of their residents and contribute to the socio-economic development of the region and metropolitan areas. However, an excessive increase in debt of the metropolis may in the future be a barrier to achieving a high rate of socio-economic development. The aim of the paper is to analyze the phenomenon of indebtedness in the largest cities with poviat rights – metropolises – in Poland in the years 2007–2013. The study draws on publicly accessible databases compiled by the Ministry of Finance (Wskaźniki do oceny sytuacji fiansowej jednostek samorządu terytorialnego).
Paweł Swianiewicz, Karolina Olszowiec

Uptade from 2.03.2021: Parts of this article were subsequently used in the following publication: Swianiewicz, P., & Chelstowska, K. (2015). Neighbourhood Council as a Path of Political Career Development in Poland. Polish Sociological Review, (190), 223.

 

On the basis of data from six Polish cities, the authors discuss the role of sub-municipal (neighbourhood, city district) councils as paths to political career in big Polish cities. The analysis of social composition of neighbourhood councils is based on Putnam’s law of increasing disproportionality, while various theoretical concepts inform the division of the selection process into three stages: self-selection, pre-selection (top-down selection), and bottom-up selection. Neighbourhood councils are considered as incubators and respirators of political career.

Robert Pyka
The global Post-Fordist economy based on permanent flows changes the way we use space. It modifies the processes of functioning of cities, some of which take the role of global hubs or regional networks. It is an open question whether and how the changes concerning territorial and competence range of cities influence institutions and institutionalizations of contemporary city authorities. Although it is difficult to establish a general answer to this question, the author bases his reflection on the case of the evolution, unprecedented in the French conditions, of the local government system of Grand Lyon Urban Community. On 1st January 2015, after 45 years of its existence, Grand Lyon became a Metropolis of Lyon, establishing a new unit of local government with extended range and new competences, combining the prerogative powers of municipalities, an urban community, and a department.
Janusz Heller, Eliza Farelnik
The aim of our research is to evaluate the level of economic independence and its influence on political system changes in different groups of local government. The research shows that the decisive factor in differentiating economic independence of local governments is the level of urbanization. In urban self-government, its own revenues surpass 50% and sometimes even 60%, whereas in rural areas (defined as rural communes and land districts) they reach about 30%. Such marked differences can cause local governments to develop in two structurally different directions.
Jarosław Kempa
The article attempts to assess the development policy of the self-government authorities of Pomorskie region. Since the third level of territorial self-government has been established upon the state reform of territorial administration, one may ask how the intra-regional policy develops in Poland. The self-government of the region has been bound by the law to draw up a document specifying the trends of the region development a strategy of the region. The strategy provisions constitute a good point of reference for the assessment of the undertakings within the development policy taken on by the regional authorities. The assessment of the development policy in the years 1999-2004 corresponds to the first term of office and a half of the term of office of the regional authorities elected during an election. The article covers many aspects and concentrates on the description of the selected undertakings with the aim to create a regional innovation system, to support medium and small business, to create regional capital market, to develop farming and operation of the special economic zones. The author makes an attempt to show that the regional self-government, giving as an example the Pomorskie region self-government, tries to create its own development policy in compliance with the strategy in the circumstances of stiff standards imposed by the central authorities.
Agnieszka Olechnicka
The article introduces the concept of ESPON (European Spatial Planning Observation Network) programme, dealing with a research on spatial development of enlarging European Union. The role of Polish research units in the programme is described. The article demonstrates also the benefits and constrains related to the participation in ESPON, based on the experience of the Centre for European Regional and Local Studies. Several suggestions on how to increase Polish participation in the ESPON programme are formulated.
Agnieszka Kozera
Financial self-sufficiency of the local government units, which means an ability to design their own financial policy in accordance with the applicable law, is one of the preconditions for sustainable local development. Metropolises – the largest towns with county (poviat) rights – because of their high demographic and economic potential are characterised by a high average level of financial self-sufficiency. Various processes and phenomena, including the economic crisis and the phenomenon of suburbanisation, affect the level of financial self-sufficiency of the largest cities. The main aim of the article is to assess the level of financial self-sufficiency of the metropolises in Poland in 2007-2015. The study was conducted in two stages. In the first stage, the analysis was based on the development of the basic indicators of financial self-sufficiency of the metropolises, while in the second stage of the research, a summary assessment of the financial self-sufficiency of the metropolises was conducted using the TOPSIS method. The empirical basis of the study was provided by the data from the Central Statistical Office database (Local Data Bank).
Anna Tobolska
Branches of international corporations are a significant element of the economic structure of towns and regions, and depending on the degree of their integration with (‘embeddedness’ in) the regional and local economic milieux, they can play an important role in their development. The location of a branch of an international corporation has a multitude of effects in a variety of spheres: economic, social, spatial, and environmental. The effects in the social sphere include the formation of attitudes of the residents towards the investor, which takes place on the basis of the knowledge about the investor and his/her image, and then gives rise to some forms of behaviour towards him. This paper compares the attitudes towards foreign investors of the residents of a big city and a small rural commune. The analysis is based on a survey research carried out among the inhabitants of Poznan city and the commune of Zbaszynek. The attitudes examined in the first case were those towards a branch of the international corporation EXIDE Technologies, which has been operating in the city since 1995, and in the other case, the attitudes towards a branch of the Swedwood corporation, present in the commune since 1999.
Dominika Wojtowicz, Kinga Paciorek
The paper focuses on issues related to the impact of quality management in local government at the municipal level on the use of EU funds supporting local development. Poland is one of the greatest beneficiaries of structural funds provided for regional development and strengthening cohesion within the Community. Local governments are one of the groups which absorbed most of the funds for 2007–2013. The paper describes how and to what extent the implementation of New Public Management tools in local government administration can guarantee efficient use of EU funds. Three areas of such impact are taken into consideration – the amount of acquired funds, efficient implementation of the projects co-financed by the EU, and the quality of these projects.
Sławomira Hajduk
The aim of this paper is to evaluate the activity of local governments’ planning and investment service in the environmentally valuable areas of Podlaskie Voivodeship. Spatial planning at the local level is extremely important, especially in the environmentally valuable areas. It makes it possible to preserve the natural environment for future generations and to maintain ecological processes. However, protective measures should not disturb municipal investments. One of the appropriate solutions is the introduction of local land development plans – a framework of rational management of natural resources and of marketing development. This is particularly important in the areas of municipalities which, beside ecological functions, play an important role in the development of tourism and transport, and are situated in suburban areas.
Stanisław W. Ceran, Michał Sidoruk
The study contains a review of websites of local governments in Podlaskie voivodship. The authors address the problem of demand for internet services, provide the inventory of available websites and evaluate the importance of this form of communication. The popularity of Internet services is clearly growing, especially with respect to interactive solutions, saving time and money of citizens. The quality of website’s contents is also a strong determinant of it’s success.