Local governance

From Encyklopedia Administracji Publicznej

LOCAL GOVERNANCE – one of the trends of governance, which refers to changes and interactions taking place at the local level. It can be defined as a more or less polycentric system in which many actors – authorities, private and social actors – are involved in the local decision-making process. This concept assumes that the institutional structure of governance is decentralized and fragmented, with a range of cooperation networks playing an important role. The core of the decision-making process are not representative bodies, but rather interactions between them and other entities, actors, stakeholders. The role of leadership, e.g., directly elected village mayors/mayors, also significantly increases. In addition, l.gov. changes the role of central government – although it is still the leading entity, its involvement in the local sphere does not consist in continuous control, but rather in making small, necessary interventions and corrections. L.gov. also emphasizes the need for continuous learning and adaptation to changing conditions and needs. This can be seen both in the institutional sphere and in the practical implementation of local public policies. Two basic stages can be distinguished in the development of l.gov. The first one – consisting in incorporating innovative elements into the traditional government and defining changes. The second one – focusing on the influence of governance practice on the functioning of two basic levels of self-government – democratic (participation of citizens) and functional (local benefits). Principles of l.gov. were implemented mainly in Anglo-Saxon and Scandinavian countries (→ governance) [ K. Radzik-Maruszak ].

Literature: M. Bevir, Key Concepts in Governance, SAGE, Los Angeles – London 2009 ■ B. Denters, Local governance, [in:] The SAGE Handbook of Governance, ed. M. Bevir, Berkeley 2011 ■ P. John, Local Governance in Western Europe, London 2001.