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HOW PAST REFORMS CHANGE THE FUTURE? LOCAL GOVERNANCE REFORMS AND THEIR IMPACT ON MAYOR'S ABILITY TO INFLUENCE THE MUNICIPAL DEVELOPMENT Print E-mail

Michaela Bátorová

Abstract
The purpose of this paper is to track the historical development of local governance reforms in Slovakia (between years 1989 and 2009) and to reveal the consequences of these reforms on the perceived decision-making power of current Slovak Mayors to change the municipal development. As the decision-making power is a tool for performing a change, this paper clearly elaborates causal relation between the past state policies and its effects on the future municipal development from the municipal key actors’ point of view.
The research findings were obtained by employing a triangulation method. The data was collected by a study of official documents, and interviews with key actors. The in-depth interviews with open-ended questions were conducted in eight Slovak municipalities with mayors who had been in charge for at least two electoral periods.
The research provides interesting results – different data produces different outcome. The documentary analysis shows that the past institutional changes have strong positive influence on mayoral formal decision-making power, because his or her powers (rights) to change the municipal development have been extended. On the other hand, the content analysis of the interview transcripts shows that the opinions of the respondents are ambiguous. Only few interviewees believe that the past institutional reforms positively contributed to their ability to shape the future municipal development; while, the rest think that the past reforms have not influenced their decision-making power. This means that for majority of studied mayors the ability to influence the municipal development depends on other than institutional change factors.
 
Key words: institutional change, local governance reforms (decentralization, NPM, politico-administrative reforms) the Slovak local governments, mayoral decision-making power,
 
Early version of this article was presented at the 19th Annual NISPAcee Conference in Varna, Bulgaria, May 2011.
 
Michaela Bátorová is a PhD candidate at the School of Management, University of Tampere, Finland.
 
Cite this article:
Bátorová Michaela. How past reforms change the Future? Local governance reforms and their impact on mayor's ability to influence the municipal development. Innovative Issues and Approaches in Social Sciences, vol.4, no.2:6-43, DOI:http://dx.doi.org/10.12959/issn.1855-0541.IIASS-2011-no2-art01

Digital Object Identifier(DOI): http://dx.doi.org/10.12959/issn.1855-0541.IIASS-2011-no2-art01

View full text in pdf: http://www.iiass.com/pdf/IIASS-2011-no2-art01.pdf
 

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