The 26th NISPAcee Annual Conference

Conference photos available

Conference photos available

In the conference participated 317 participants

Conference programme published

Almost 250 conference participants from 36 countries participated

Conference Report

An opportunity to learn from other researchers and other countries' experiences on certain topics.

G.A.C., Hungary, 25th Conference 2017, Kazan

Very well organised, excellent programme and fruitful discussions.

M.M.S., Slovakia, 25th Conference 2017, Kazan

The NISPAcee conference remains a very interesting conference.

M.D.V., Netherlands, 25th Conference 2017, Kazan

Thank you for the opportunity to be there, and for the work of the organisers.

D.Z., Hungary, 24th Conference 2016, Zagreb

Well organized, as always. Excellent conference topic and paper selection.

M.S., Serbia, 23rd Conference 2015, Georgia

Perfect conference. Well organised. Very informative.

M.deV., Netherlands, 22nd Conference 2014, Hungary

Excellent conference. Congratulations!

S. C., United States, 20th Conference 2012, Republic of Macedonia

Thanks for organising the pre-conference activity. I benefited significantly!

R. U., Uzbekistan, 19th Conference, Varna 2011

Each information I got, was received perfectly in time!

L. S., Latvia, 21st Conference 2013, Serbia

The Conference was very academically fruitful!

M. K., Republic of Macedonia, 20th Conference 2012, Republic of Macedonia

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I. Working Group on Local Government

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 administration.


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 research professor at 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.

Main focus and working aims

The Working Group on Local Governance deals with all sub-national levels of governance from several points of view: regulation, structure, organisation, functioning, finance, representation, election, and public policies etc. The WG especially welcomes empirical research results, comparative analysis, but also welcomes theoretical contributions.


Specific goals

Central theme for 2018: Shift between centralisation and decentralisation

In many countries, local governments have been given more functions within the framework of decentralisation. Nowadays, the consequences have become visible in sometimes an improved, but also a deteriorated service delivery. In addition, recently, the opposite trend, namely towards re-centralisation is seen. This takes place, if not in taking back the responsibility of policies from local governments by national governments, then by setting stricter regulations and boundary conditions on the workings of local governments in decentralised areas. Local governments react differently. Sometimes one sees amalgamations, and at other times, inter-municipal cooperation and/or mergers of local administrations. All these trends have their merits and drawbacks.

Furthermore, these developments beg the question as to what municipalities can learn from developments taking place in this regard in other countries. The developments have an impact on urban-rural networks, as well as on the classic issue of decentralisation and centralisation.

Thus, although general papers on local government are also welcome, we especially invite theoretical and empirical papers that address the issues mentioned above.


Guidelines for contributors

·In line with the focus of the 2018 conference (processes at and amongst different levels of governance and reactions to the changes).

·We invite especially local, nationwide, empirical researches; how centralisation or decentralisation is managed and what are the (financial, functional, quality, democracy) impacts and responses. Comparative analyses are especially welcome.

·International or methodological or theoretical relevance: how we can learn from the paper beyond the case.