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Analysing central-local government relations in different systems: a conceptual framework and some empirical illustrations
Örebro University, School of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences. (CUReS)ORCID iD: 0000-0002-7737-5850
1991 (English)In: Scandinavian Political Studies, ISSN 0080-6757, E-ISSN 1467-9477, Vol. 14, no 1, 31-58 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Restructuring of central and local government relations has occurred in a number of countries during the 1980s, and has been a striking phenomenon even in such different countries as Poland, Sweden and the US. In the first part of the article a resource framework is presented, designed to make basic comparisons of these relations between different countries. Five sets of resources are identified: constitutional-legal, regulatory, financial, political and professional resources. It is argued that local-government disposal of such resources provides a potential for local discretion. The applicability of the framework is illustrated by reference to a study of Poland, Sweden and the US, focusing on the restructuring of central and local government relations in these countries during the 1980s. The conclusion is that decentralization has occurred in all three cases, especially in terms of regulatory and other non-financial resources. However, in Sweden and the US this trend has been counterbalanced by centralization of financial control. In Poland the post-communist revolution has paved the way for a restoration of the pre-war local self-government system. Democratic elections at the local level are seen as crucial to break down the old, centralized party-state system, and to reintroduce a dual local government system. In all three cases economic pressure, related to the individual countries' positions in the world capitalist system, seems to have been the main driving force beind the decentralization processes. However, the forms, magnitude and effects of decentralization must be seen in relation to the specific political economies and histories of the three countries. Thus, to understand the causes, mechanisms and effects of central–local government restructuring in depth one has to relate the resource approach to a broader theoretical framework.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
1991. Vol. 14, no 1, 31-58 p.
Keyword [en]
central-local government relations
National Category
Political Science (excluding Public Administration Studies and Globalization Studies)
Research subject
Political Science
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-5757DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9477.1991.tb00404.xOAI: oai:DiVA.org:oru-5757DiVA: diva2:174114
Available from: 2009-02-19 Created: 2009-02-19 Last updated: 2015-03-02Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
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Language
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