I. Working Group on Local Government
Topic for the year 2017: Does size matter?
WG Programme Coordinators:
Michiel S de Vries, Radboud University Nijmegen, The Netherlands
He holds the chair in Public
Administration at the Radboud University of Nijmegen and is visiting
professor at the Masaryk University in Brno, Czech Republic. He is
president of IASIA, full member of the Group of Independent Experts on
the European Charter of Local Self-Government of the Council of Europe
and member of the editorial board of numerous journals on Public
Administration. His research concentrates on local government, public
sector reform, policy evaluation, policy change and comparative public
Ilona Pálné Kovács, Professor, Hungarian Academy of Sciences, University of Pécs, Hungary
Professor Ilona Pálné Kovács is a lawyer, political scientist, elected as a corresponding member of Hungarian Academy of Science HAS in 2013. She is a full time professor and the head of PhD programme in political science at the Department for Political Studies of University of Pécs. Recently she is a director of the Institute for Regional Studies, CERS HAS. Her fields of interest are regional policy, regional governance and local governments, European multi-level governance, cohesion policy, Europeanisation. She conducted many domestic and international projects, participating in several FP, ESF, INTERREG, TEMPUS, ESPON, UNESCO, EC DG Regio programmes.
As in previous years, this Working Group welcomes general papers, whether they are theoretical or empirical, comparative studies or case studies on local government issues in Central and Eastern Europe and Central Asia. However, the focus during the next three years of this Working Group will be on the effect of the size of local government on issues of public administration these municipalities are facing, that is, their organisation and management and the development of policies. This topic can be divided into three sub-topics. First, the group of large or mega cities means special problems, both in administration and public services. Within this group there are specific problems and issues that capital cities in Central and Eastern European and Central Asian countries face. A country’s capitals often have a special position vis-à-vis other local governments, regional and national government and also their own specific problems and issues to deal with. Secondly there are what is called hamlets, the very small municipalities and the specific issues they face. Thirdly, there are the municipalities such as the well-researched middle town municipalities with say, 10,000 up to 150,000 inhabitants, positioned in between the big cities (capitals) and the hamlets.
The Working Group invites papers that do not present a general, but rather a detailed picture of the internal and/or external workings of big cities, capitals, middle towns and hamlets, the issues and problems faced, the causes thereof and the solutions sought by those municipalities. Not only the scale but also the content of the issues are really broad. Papers could be about political-administrative relations, public participation/coproduction, organisation and management, public service delivery, associations, accessibility etc. The coordinators would appreciate it if the paper could connect such topics to the size of the given settlements.
As to case studies on national capitals, this should be single-case studies. If more than one scholar from the same country submits an abstract in this direction about the same capital, the coordinators might ask them to divide attention and focus either on external workings (local public policies) or the internal workings (organisation and management) of that capital. So, if you submit a paper in this direction, please also specify whether you prefer to give a detailed picture of the internal or external workings of the capital.
With regard to papers on middle towns and hamlets, a comparative case study approach is needed, comparing multiple municipalities within a single country. We especially welcome so-called ‘thick descriptions’ on such municipalities.
The coordinators would like to use the papers focused on this topic to publish one or more books on the subject and in that regard it would be appreciated if all papers could have the same type of structure. Final papers should be no longer than 8,000 words, with a brief introduction on the paper (maximum 500 words), a detailed description of the position of the municipality, a detailed overview of the issues faced, the causes, and the solutions sought (together maximum 6,000 words), an analysis (maximum 1,000 words) and a conclusion (maximum 500 words).