EAPAA

European Association for Public Administration Accreditation

I. Working Group on Local Government
WG Programme Coordinators:

Gabor Soos, Tocqueville Research Center, Budapest, Hungary
E-mail:  gabor.soos@tokvil.net
Temmes Markku, University of Helsinki, Department of Political Science, Finland
Email: temmes@mappi.helsinki.fi


Topic 2009: Governance of City – regions in CEE and NIS countries

NISPAcee introduced a new WG at the annual NISPAcee Conference in Bratislava (2008).
Based on the outcomes of the first meeting, the working group decided to focus on the problem of city-regions because of their increasing importance everywhere in the world and the specific post-communist process of quick suburbanisation. Cities become the centres of the new service- and knowledge-based economies, while their governance becomes more complex.

The workgroup will focus on three challenges the CEE and NIS countries
presently face:

1. The governance problem. Large cities have more and more important suburbs. The agglomeration and the city tend to form a more and more unified functional unit in terms of economic processes, job market, transportation and social life. This functional merging is often hindered by the fragmentation of metropolitan areas: the central city is relatively small, while suburbs preserve their autonomy. Finding a solution for this challenge is an important item on the agenda in many countries.

2. The developmental problem. City-regions are the motor of change in the world, and also in post-communist countries. The communist economy, based on forced industrialisation, has been transformed into post-industrial economy in metropolitan areas. Successful transformation countries have successful cities. Public administration reforms are also
expected to contribute to the success of city-regions.

3. The decentralisation problem. City-regions are very important, sometimes so important that they dominate the life of the country. Big cities, typically capitals, tend to over-centralise economic, social and political life. The political elite, rich businesspersons and famous actors
mostly live in the capital. Such big cities successfully divert resources to the detriment of other areas. Well-designed policies are needed to rectify that problem.

Applicants are invited to submit proposals for four types of paper:

* Country reports: Analytical description of the present situation and
its background.
* Policy analyses: Investigations of the success and failure of policies
that aimed to respond to one of the three problems outlined above.
* Theoretical contributions: General proposals on city-regions. The
proposal must be related to CEE or NIS countries.
* Comparative papers: Cross-country analyses of developments and policies.

The working group met for the first time at the annual NISPAcee conference in Bratislava in May, 2008. Depending on the quality of paper contributions, the group is expected to produce a book manuscript by the end of 2009 or 2010

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