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The Oxford Handbook of Local and Regional Democracy in Europe

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Overview


The Oxford Handbook of Local and Regional Democracy in Europe analyzes the state of play of democracy at the subnational level in the 27 member states of the EU plus Norway and Switzerland. It places subnational democracy in the context of the distinctive Anglo, French, German, and Scandinavian state traditions in Europe asking to what extent these are still relevant today. The Handbook adapts Lijphart's theory of democracy and applies it to the subnational levels in all the country chapters. A key theoretical issue is whether subnational (regional and local) democracy is derived from national democracy or whether it is legitimate in its own right. Besides these theoretical concerns it focuses on the practice of democracy: the roles of political parties and interest groups and also how subnational political institutions relate to the ordinary citizen. This can take the form of local referendums or other mechanisms of participation. The Handbook reveals a wide variety of practices across Europe in this regard. Local financial systems also reveal a great variety. Finally, each chapter examines the challenges facing subnational democracy but also the opportunities available to them to enhance their democratic systems. Among the challenges identified are: Europeanization, globalization, but also citizens disaffection and switch-off from politics. Some countries have confronted these challenges more successfully than others but all countries face them. An important aspect of the Handbook is the inclusion of all the countries of East and Central Europe plus Cyprus and Malta, who joined the EU in 2004 and 2007. This is the first time they have been examined alongside the countries of Western Europe from the angle of subnational democracy.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780199562978
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 12/30/2010
  • Series: Oxford Handbooks Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 816
  • Product dimensions: 7.10 (w) x 9.80 (h) x 2.10 (d)

Meet the Author

John Loughlin is a Fellow of St. Edmund's College and Affiliate Lecturer in the Department of Politics and International Studies at Cambridge University. He also holds Visiting positions at Oxford, Cambridge, Umea University, and the Institut d'Etudes Politiques Aix-en-Provence, as well as numerous other appointments. He is author and editor of over twenty books and numerous articles and book chapters on European territorial governance, as well as an expert of the Council of Europe's Committee of Independent Experts on Regional and Local Democracy.

Frank Hendriks is Professor of Comparative Governance at Tilburg University in the Netherlands. He deals with cross-border comparison of policies and governance systems, including the comparative analysis of democratic and decisionmaking models at the national and the subnational level. He has conducted extensive research, partly commissioned by public bodies, on governance and democracy at the local, regional, national and European level. Hendriks has published in international journals such as Public Administration; Democratization; Local Government Studies; Administrative Theory and Praxis; Journal of Crises and Contingencies, International Review of Administrative Sciences, and more.

Anders Lidstrom is Professor of Politics at the University of UmeƄ in Sweden. His reseach focuses on local politics and government, comparative politics, and education policy. Current research includes comparative studies of local government systems, and studies of democracy and political participation in city-regions.

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Table of Contents

Introduction, John Loughlin, Frank Hendriks, and Anders Lidstrom
Part One: The British Isles
1. The United Kingdom: Is There Really an Anglo Model?, Peter John and Colin Copus
2. Ireland: Halting Steps Towards Local Democracy, John Loughlin
Part Two: The Rhinelandic States
3. Belgium: a Tale of Regional Divergence?, Ellen Wayenberg, Filip De Rynck, Kristof Steyvers, and Jean-Benoit Pilet
4. The Netherlands: Subnational Democracy and the Reinvention of Tradition, Frank Hendriks and Linze Schaap
5. Luxembourg: The Challenge of Inclusive Democracy in a 'Local State', Patrick Dumont, Philippe Poirier, and Raphael Kies
6. Germany: Varieties of Democracy in a Federal System, Arthur Benz and Christina Zimmer
7. Austria: From Consensus to Competition and Participation?, Franz Fallend
8. Switzerland: Subsidiarity, Power-sharing and Direct Democracy, Andreas Ladner
Part Three: The Nordic States
9. Denmark: Between Local Democracy and Implementing Agency of the Welfare State, Jens Blom Hansen and Anne Heeager
10. Finland: The Limits of the Unitary Decentralized Model, Stefan Sjoblom
11. Sweden: Party Dominated Sub-national Democracy Under Challenge?, Anders Lidstrom
12. Norway: The Decline of Subnational Democracy?, Harald Baldersheim and Larry Rose
Part Four: The Southern European States
13. France: Between Centralization and Fragmentation, Alistair Cole
14. Italy: The Subnational Dimension to Strengthening Democracy Since the 1990s, Simona Piattoni and Marco Brunazzo
15. Spain: The Consolidation of Strong Regional Governments and the Limits of Local Decentralization, Cesar Colino and Eloisa del Pino
16. Portugal: Local Democracy in a Small Centralized Republic, Jose E. Magone
17. Greece: A Case of Fragmented Centralism and 'Behind the Scenes', Nikos Hlepas and Panos Getimis
18. Malta: Local Government: A Slowly Maturing Process, Henry Frendo
19. Cyprus: Political Modernity and the Structures of Democracy in a Divided Island, Andrekos Varnava and Christalla Yakinthou
Part Five: The New Democracies
The Visegrad States
20. Poland: Europeanization of Sub-National Governments, Pawel Swianiewicz
21. The Czech Republic: Local Government in the Years After the Reform, Michal Illner
22. Hungary: Remarkable Successes and Costly Failures: An Evaluation of Subnational Democracy, Gabor Soos and Laszlo Kakai
23. Slovakia: Local Government: Establishing Democracy at the Grassroots, Sona Capkova
The Baltic States
24. Estonia: Challenges and Lessons of the Development of Local Autonomy, Georg Sootla and Kersten Kattai
25. Latvia: Experiments and Reforms in Decentralization, Inga Vilka
26. Lithuania: Brave Enough to Implement Daring Democratic Reforms?, Jolanta Vaiciuniene and Saulius Nefas
The Balkan States
27. Slovenia in Transition: Decentralization as a Goal, Stanka Setnikar-Canka
28. Bulgaria: The Dawn of a New Era of Inclusive Subnational Democracy?, Pavlina Nikolova
29. Romania: From Historical Regions to Local Decentralization via the Unitary State, Ana Maria Dobre
Part Six: Conclusions
30. European Subnational Democracy: Comparative Reflections and Conclusions, Frank Hendriks, John Loughlin, and Anders Lidstrom
Appendix 1: Structure of Sub-National Governments in Europe (2007)
Appendix 2: Sub-national Finances in Europe Appendix 3: Trust, Importance of Local/Regional Government and Levels of Corruption in Europe

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