Advocates of democratization in Central and Eastern Europe before 1989 placed great emphasis on community self-government as the basis of civil society and democracy. After the ‘Velvet Revolutions’ of 1989 and the break up of the Soviet Union in 1991, the new states created an elected local government, whereby cities, towns and villages elected their own representatives and started running local services. This unleashed the development potential of urban communities across the region, but also led to the emergence of a different logic based on resource efficiency and service effectiveness.
Local Government in Central and Eastern Europe examines these changes through the use of case studies which compare and contrast neighbouring countries, such as the Baltic States, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Poland and Ukraine, placing what is happening in an international perspective. There are various common themes such as: how to deal with the small scale of many municipalities, how to finance local services, centre-local relations, and the roles of cities and districts.
This book was previously published as a special issue of Local Government Studies and will be of interest to students of Eastern European politics, governance, and policy analysis.
1. Into the Mainstream: Local Democracy in Central and Eastern Europe 2. Local Democracy and the Challenges of Decentralizing the State: An International Perspective 3. Taxes, Transfers and Transition - Adjusting Local Finances to New Structures and Institutions: The Experience of the Czech Republic, Hungary and Slovakia 4. Poland and Ukraine: Contrasting Paths of Decentralization and Territorial Reform 5. Local Government in the Baltic States: Similar but Different 6. The Tortuous Path of Local Government Reform in the Russian Federation 7. State versus Society? Local Government and the Reconstruction of the Russian State