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Iwona Sagan

The article was published in Polish in "Studia Regionalne i Lokalne", 2/2004

 

The paper offers a review of the evolution in defining and describing regions, showing mutual relationships between particular approaches and logical succession between various analytical concepts of the region. The analysis highlights the strong relationship between individual theories and overall social change. Three main approaches to regional research are outlined: the chorological approach, Regional Science and contemporary social and cultural interpretations of the region. Each approach is presented in three perspectives: theoretical, methodological and practical. The changing role and status of geographical research in regional studies is also discussed.

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.
Paweł Gajewski

The aim of this paper is to evaluate the symmetry of demand and supply shocks affecting Polish voivodeships and to assess the risk of asymmetric shocks in the future. The study employs the SVAR-based Blanchard and Quah (1989) decomposition as modified by Bayoumi and Eichengreen (1992), and uses a new method of estimating quarterly GDP by voivodeships. The results point to a relatively high symmetry of shocks and a rather low risk of their occurrence. Shock asymmetry does not appear to be strongly related to differences in production structures, which is claimed in most theoretical approaches, including the Optimum Currency Areas Theory.

Dagmara Kociuba
The paper summarizes the activities, carried out in Poland in the period 2011–2016, which led to the delimitation of Functional Urban Areas of Voivodeship Centres (FUA VC) in the scope of the implementation of Integrated Territorial Investments (ITI). The first part of the paper presents the principles of implementing ITI in Poland, and the results of the delimitation of FUA VC proposed by the central authorities. In the second part, they are confronted with the results of studies conducted in all Polish regions. This makes it possible to assess their mutual relations, and to observe five variants of works related to the delimitation of FUA VC for the implementation of ITI, namely I. Ministerial, II. Cooperation, III. Strategic Planning, IV. Expert, and V. Interim.
Paulina Piotrowska
The following article shows the problem of environmental pollution in contemporary world as an side-effect of economic development. The main aim of the article is to present two political theories of an environmental protection extend – Green Political Theory and environmentalism and ecological modernization as a possibility of solution for the environmental protection problem in the process of development. Action is complex and guided by the state. The role of context is pointed out, which is proved on the example of USA, Germany, Norway, Great Britain, socialist states, Poland and European Union. Additionally, article analyses the directions of environmental policies – ecocentrism, technocentrism, ecoliberalism and ecocollectivism.
Tomasz Grzegorz Grosse
The paper is devoted to the problems of development of peripheral regions. It contains a review of theories of endogenous and exogenous development and a description of their evolution. Based on this theoretical discussion two model strategies are presented: (1) modernization of endogenous potential and (2) building the new endogenous potential of a region. In its further part the paper focuses on the experiences of peripheral regions in Portugal and Finland. Finally it offers the recommendations for public policies in the peripheral regions of Eastern Poland.
Waldemar A. Gorzym-Wilkowski
Over the past few decades, voivodeship-level spatial planning has been the subject of numerous theoretical studies and legal regulations. During this period, the authorities of the Lublin voivodeship prepared a number of spatial development plans, sometimes referred to as regional plans. In theoretical dissertations, this spatial planning (especially the regional one) was usually seen as a plan of the future spatial structure and of activities aimed at achieving it, whereas regulations on spatial planning and its practice increasingly shaped voivodeship plans as documents defining only the desired spatial structure – first of all its socioeconomic and environmental functions. A strong impact of political and legal conditions on the practice of voivodeship-level spatial planning is undoubtedly the reason for this difference.
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.

Iwona Sagan
The article is devoted to the changing ways of interpretation and description of a region. It shows the interrelations between particular approaches and the connections between changing concepts of a region and different stages of social change. Three main approaches to regional studies are emphasized: the chorological tradition, Regional Science and contemporary social and cultural interpretations of region. Each approach is presented in three perspectives: theoretical, methodological and practical. The changing role and meaning of geographical research in regional studies is analyzed in the concluding comments.
Tomasz Zarycki

The paper proposes a model in which centre-periphery relations defined at a high level of generality (from the global level down to regional structures) can be analysed from a perspective of a number of disciplines, including political science (e.g. Rokkan’s theory of peripheries and centre-periphery cleavages), sociology (e.g. Bourdieu’s theory of the forms of capital) and linguistics (discourse analysis including code switching and politeness theories). It focuses on the nature of the discourse of peripheral elites which, as it is argued, live in a two or more dimensional social space and communicate in at least two separate codes (particularly languages): peripheral and central. Using the above mentioned theoretical concepts, the paper offers an attempt at theorisation of the mechanism of mutual perception of the centre and the periphery.

Karol Olejniczak
This article investigates the theoretical background (definition, function, types) as well as practice of evaluation activities in the European Union. The analysis has been led on three levels. The first one is the evaluation use by national administration for the purposes of national public programmes. Second level is the use of evaluation within the EU Institutions (namely European Commission). The last one, is the evaluation of European interventions at the country level. Accent has been put on this last level (the most developed one) that is the practice of structural funds. Author also concludes that despite the evaluation boom in Europe (that has taken place due to the requirements of EU regional policy), the real evaluation utilization and impact on the EU management are poorly recognized. There is a significant gap between number and scale of performed evaluations and the scientific attempts to recognize the real effects and the real utility of evaluation in improving the management of EU programmes and policies.
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.
Arkadiusz Ptak
This article analyzes the commitment of village residents to creating a village council fund. The research is based on 28 villages which have been adopting the fund in the past 4 years. The author describes the residents’ interest, or rather, the lack thereof, in the village matters and looks to answer why the residents of a given commune hardly execute their rights to take part in village meetings and decide about allocating resources from the village fund. The theoretical framework of the research is based on the rational choice theory and the theory of small groups by M. Olson.
Janusz Hryniewicz

The main goal of the article was to verify gains and losses coming from participating in the global economy in the light of the core–periphery theory. It turned out to be undeniably true that transfers of industrial production to peripheral countries lead to higher living standards and indirectly favour political stability in core countries, while the hypothesis that the global financial market is a tool for exploitation of peripheral countries was proved to be false. The author established that financial speculations in core countries cause political destabilization in peripheral countries, and disproved the hypothesis that the higher the participation of periphery countries in the global economy, the higher the losses they suffer and the higher the advantages in core countries.

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).
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.

Łukasz Drozda

This article aims to present the rarely examined process of rural gentrification in Poland via the example of the vineyard sector, which is a new and dynamically growing segment in the local agriculture. This paper uses quantitative data collected from public statistics, a spatial analysis conducted by GIS, and an authorial survey conducted among vineyard owners. The research findings have revealed that ‘vineyard gentrification’ does not match the classic rent gap theory; furthermore, being a non-socially severe preliminary rural gentrification performed mostly by high-class representatives, it differs significantly from the traditional pattern in Polish farming.

Mikołaj Herbst
Theory and empirical literature relates educational quality to two main explanatory factors: intergenerational transfer of human capital and the quality of schools, school composition and economic conditions. Based on these findings a model explaining territorial differentiation of educational quality is proposed. The dependent variable is test score of 6th grade students, averaged at municipality level. As it turns out, educational outcome is highly conditioned on local human capital stock. The role of traditionally meant school quality (resources) is minor (although higher in rural areas than in cities. Average school outcome differs significantly along historical divisions of Poland, not only in levels, but also in parameters of determining function. Legacies of the past and related socioeconomic processes have a substantial impact on the sensitivity of educational quality to different explanatory factors.
Magdalena Dej, Wojciech Jarczewski, Michał Chlebicki
The paper discusses research results concerning company relocation processes in five major metropolitan areas in Poland in the period 2001–2013. Key characteristics of relocation processes are analyzed mostly from the perspective of the nature of relocating companies, including time since company establishment and type of business. The study covers more than 500 companies employing at least 50 workers each. More than one third of the studied companies were found to have relocated, which confirms the rather widespread occurrence of company relocation. The results obtained in this study confirm most research findings produced in relocation studies in Western Europe and the United States that have been used to help formulate the incubator theory.
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.
Beata Guziejewska
The article discusses the functions of the Committee of the Regions with respect to the legislative process and politics of the European Union, as well as to the politics of the Member States. The main assumption of the analysis, based on the deductive method, is that because of the current political situation in Europe, in addition to being a body giving opinions on the law, the Committee of the Regions should have a greater, fundamental role in shaping the future directions of development for the entire European Union. The discussion is set in the context of fiscal federalism theory and one of its elements assuming that a federal structure has a role in mitigating conflicts, as well as referring to the hybrid nature of the contemporary models of development. It is underpinned by the relevant literature, analyses commissioned by the European Commission, materials of the Committee of the Regions, findings of earlier studies, and the so-called impact reports of the Committee of the Regions published from 2014 to 2017.
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.
Kaol Olejniczak
The aim of the following article is a comprehensive review of the cluster theory. Article starts with the discussion on the new approach towards regional and local development. In the first part author presents and discusses spectrum of concepts related to clusters such as: Marshallian industrial district, Italian industrial districts, new industrial spaces, mezo-systems, local innovative milieu, learning regions, and regional innovation systems. The core of the article is the analysis of the cluster approach: its theoretical inspiration and background, definitions, its specificity, effects of clusters described in literature, strength and weaknesses of this approach. The last part of the article is devoted to the practical issues – examples of cluster-based policies. This short review covers the initiatives undertaken in the countries of European Union.
Jarosław Działek
For more than 20 years, social capital has been gaining popularity both among researchers and policy makers. However, this theory has just reached its maturity. The paper presents classical and critical approaches to the concept. Main aspects and types of social capital are distinguished, followed by a description of the most relevant model for empirical research. Finally, the most important research fields are discussed, including mechanisms explaining the influence of social capital on other social, political and economical phenomena.
Bohdan Jałowiecki
This article presents, from a sociological perspective, selected methodological issues concerning urban studies. The authors of such studies either create theories of a city’s rise and fall or describe a changing urban reality, investigating the history of cities. Examples of the first approach are the more or less formalized works of Louis Wirth or Richard Florida, as well as Geoffrey West’s and Louis Bettencourt’s quantitative concept.. The second type of studies is represented by Max Weber, Fernand Braudel and others. The author, although he is not denying the merits of the first approach, claims that the descriptive-historical perspective has so far been more useful in explaining the process of urban development.
Krzysztof Bierwiaczonek
The paper presents the ways public space is socially used in three cities: Jastrzebie Zdroj, Tychy and Zory. The theoretical background is the culturalist perspective of urban sociology and the theory of public space. In the socialist era, the space in the researched cities was dominated by production and monofunctional housing estates. Public space did not exist. In the recent years, some unfinished structures may have been completed, but creating integrative urban public space is still a challenge. As a result, it is interesting to research and describe contemporary ways of using space in the “socialist” cities. The results of qualitative research show that inhabitants appreciate multifunctional market places and public squares wherever they exist. Such places constitute multifunctional public space. However, in cities lacking functional public space, shopping centres replace traditional city space. Unfortunately, they do not have the social integration function and do not promote social interactions. In every city, recreational areas are important for inhabitants.
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 Götz
Neither the history nor the theory of economics indicates unambiguously the sources of high yet stable economic growth. The aim of this paper is a thorough assessment of various growth determinants in German Bundesländer in the years 1991-2009 in terms of both current levels and recent developments. In order to evaluate the economic growth potential the summary index (SG) encompassing various dimensions of economy has been constructed and carefully calculated. Such an approach gives a holistic and comprehensive view on economic growth factors, encompassing business and political dimensions prevailing in the media and a scientific approach drawing on a specific methodology. Our results confirm to some extent earlier studies pointing to existing West-East discrepancies in Germany. However, one must not ignore achievements of the new Bundesländer as measured by positive time developments. Conceptual framework put forward shall be seen as scaffolding, at the same time synthesizing and differentiating various growth determinants, a possible “navigation tool” for other case studies.
Adrian Lis, Anna Szerenos
This article aims at creating the foundations for a coherent theoretical concept of cluster structure, meeting high requirements of a continuously changing area of social sciences. Such a concept should provide an opportunity to make comparisons between clusters of various branches and at various stages of development. To construct such a theory, a modified and supplemented Pierre Bourdieu’s concept of capital was used, putting large emphasis not only onto stricte economic sources of influence in the cluster but also onto human beings and their activities, which influence the operation of cluster structure to the greatest degree.
Adrian Burdziak, Anna Myślińska
The authors put a hypothesis of positive net agglomeration effect in Polish subregions in 2000–2005. The net agglomeration effect is a relatively new theory explaining spatial differences in economic activity. A production concentration function suggested by Ciccone and Hall is used in analysis. The hypothesis was verified with econometric methods. Multiple scenarios gave ambiguous results. Panel methods appeared to be ineffective, as opposed to pool methods. Cumulated number of patents was used as an approximation of the level of technical development. Among pool scenarios, domestic patents allowed to reduce problems connected with co-relation of explanatory variables. This approach gives conclusions about positive net agglomeration effect.
Mikołaj Herbst

The article was published in Polish in "Studia Regionalne i Lokalne", 3/2004

 

Theory and empirical literature relate educational quality to two main explanatory factors: family education (intergenerational transfer of human capital) and the quality of schools. The model proposed in this paper is intended to verify the significance of these factors in explaining territorial disparities in educational quality in Poland. The dependent variable is the test score of sixth grade pupils in 2002, averaged at municipality level. The test results prove to be strongly correlated with human capital stock in the municipality`s adult population, which points to the key role of intergenerational transfer for educational quality. On the other hand, the role of school resources (understood as expenditure on education) is rather small. Average test results differ significantly between Poland`s historical divisions. Surprisingly, the more urbanised and relatively affluent regions, like Greater Poland (Wielkopolska), Pomerania (Pomorze) and the so-called Regained Territories (ziemie odzyskane) reveal a substantially lower educational quality than the territories in the east and south-east of the country, generally less developed and with a significant share of agriculture in the economy. These differences can only be partly explained by an additional environmental factor, related to the prevalence of state-owned economy before 1990 (e.g. state farms PGRs) and today`s high structural unemployment. Interestingly, the dissimilarities between the historical regions are not only illustrated by average test score levels, but also by parameters of the determining functions for these results. It can be concluded therefore that location in a historical region has a substantial impact on the flexibility of educational outcomes with regard to different explanatory factors.

Tomasz Zarycki
The paper proposes a model in which centre-periphery relations defined in an abstract way (from the global level of world system to regional structures) could be analyzed in a perspective of a number of disciplines including: political science (e.g. the Rokkan theory of peripheries and centre-periphery cleavages), sociology (e.g. the Bourdieu’s theory of types of capital) and linguistics (discourse analysis including the code switching and politeness theories). It focuses on the nature of the discourse of the peripheral elites which, as it is argued, live in a two or more dimensional social space and communicate in at least two separate codes (in particular languages): peripheral and central. Using the above mentioned theoretical concepts, an attempt of theorization of the mechanism of mutual perception of centres and the peripheries is made.
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.
Marek W. Kozak
Dynamic tourism development has resulted in equally dynamic growth of tourism industry, being the major source of income. Tourism development strategies are based on different concepts of economic growth which do not answer all questions. Among them is the issue of success factors: what makes certain localities enjoy fast tourism development while other similar places have problems? Against many beliefs on the significance of natural resources, more important are cultural assets and in particular development of tourist infrastructure and products. Having this in mind one should look for success factors in quality of human resources, elites and leadership.
Jiří Musil
This paper is a comparative study of main social theories of urban development in the last fifty tears. The author presents various approaches and social theories from across the world. He divides the after-war period into three phases according to the profound social changes. the first one covers the years of ending the post-war reconstruction of economy, infrastructure and cities damaged by the war. the second phase includes "the golden years" between approximately 1955 and 1975, when the formation of different types of welfare state, but mainly the urban population growth, suburbanization and metropolization processes and improvement of living conditions and urbanities took place. the third phase, covering the years between 1975 and 2000, is marked by the first signs of the decline of the welfare state accompanied by deepening social inequalities increasing urban poverty, marginalization of some groups of the population, political radicalization and urban conflicts as well as by urban and regional polarization.