NISPAcee Annual Conference
Paper Details
I. Working Group on Local Government
Author(s)  Diana - Camelia Iancu 
  National School of Political Studies and Public Administration
Bucharest  Romania
Klimovsky Daniel, DANIEL KLIMOVSKY, Faculty of Public Administration, P.J. Safarik University, Kosice, Slovak Republic 
Paper Name  Thinking outside the box: Local government and the preference-holders’ participation to policy making processes in Slovakia and Romania.
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Paper Abstract  
Abstract not available 
 Preliminary Abstract
The paper we propose addresses the issue of public participation while analyzing the local policy-making processes inside two democratic political systems of the European Union: Slovakia and Romania.

In doing so, we use Robert Dahl’s interpretation of the minimal real democracy, seen as a system which recognizes and guarantees for all its citizens, the opportunities to formulate, express and receive a governmental, non-discriminatory answer to their preferences (Dahl [1947] 2001; [1971]). In this context we assume that a minimum democratic local government depends on the existence of levers giving the preferences – holders’ involvement in the policy making processes. It is here that analyzing the legal particularities the Slovak and Romanian local public administrations exhibit, we give particular attention to the policy making cycle: 1. Problem initiation, usually understood as the stage when the problem is being identified and integrated into the policy agenda (this step is also seen as the moment of setting the agenda); Policy formulation, connected to the activities meant to develop and design solutions to the already identified problem; 3. Policy selection: it is described as the stage when the best alternative is chosen and a decision is being made; 4. Policy implementation, linked to the previous stage since it refers to putting into practice the decision already taken; 5. Policy assessment: consisting in the evaluation or appraisal of the implemented decision, and determines the last one which can have either a form of rediscovery of some problems (i.e. again problem initiation) or a form of policy conclusion.

As our analysis unravels, we point that the two countries share a common view on the role and place of the preferences-holder inside the administrative practice of local policy making.

Selective references:

BISHOP, P. – DAVIS, G. 2002. „Mapping Public Participation in Policy Choices”, American Journal of Public Administration, Vol. 61, No. 1, pp. 14 – 29.
DAHL, R. A. [1947] 2001. „The Science of Public Administration: Three Problems”, in Camilla Stivers (ed.), Democracy, Bureaucracy, and the study of Administration, Colorado, Oxford: Westview Press, pp. 60-76
DAHL, R. A. 1971. Polyarchy: Participation and Opposition. New Haven: Yale University Press.
FUNG, A. 2006. „Varieties of Participation in Complex Governance”, Public Administration Review, Vol. 66, No. 6, pp. 66 – 75.
MALÍKOVÁ, Ľ. 2001. Verejná politika – výzva pre slovenskú politológiu. [Public Policy – Challenge for Slovak Political Science.] in: Horná, D., Malíková, Ľ. (eds.): Demokracia a právny štát v kontexte rozvoja politickej vedy. [Democracy and State of Law in the Contexts of Political Science Development.] Bratislava: Univerzita Komenského & Slovenské združenie pre politické vedy & Nadácia Friedricha Eberta, pp. 113 – 119.
MALÍKOVÁ, Ľ. 2003. Verejná politika. Aktéri a procesy. [Public Policy. Actors and Processes.] Bratislava: Univerzita Komenského.
VIGODA, E. 2002. „From Responsiveness to Collaboration: Governance, Citizens, and the Next Generation of Public Administration”, Public Administration Review, Vol. 62, No. 5, pp. 527 – 540.