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Local governance in central and eastern Europe: comparing performance in the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Russia

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After decades of central planning, decentralization has been made a centrepiece of political reforms in post-communist states. Despite all the normative hype and rhetoric, we still know very little about the impact of decentralization on local populations. This study, which examines local social services and economic promotion in the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Russia, fills this important gap. It shifts the focus of much of the literature on post-communism from national level actors, to those at the level of small to medium size cities. At this level too institutional choices matter, politics could be messy, and much depends on the ability of local actors themselves, rather than their national governments, to seize opportunities for change and development. The study dispels the myth that socio-economic 'givens' or inter-governmental systems are key determinants of local outcomes; instead, it shows how party political factors and local civic activism can and do make a difference, and should be given greater prominence in the literature on local performance.

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en

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http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/43069/

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