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The Importance of Local and Regional Reform

Emil Kirchner and Thomas Christiansen

Chapter 1 in Decentralization and Transition in the Visegrad, 1999, pp 1-18 from Palgrave Macmillan

Abstract: Abstract After seven years of transition towards market economies and democratic structures, there are indications that market reform has outpaced efforts towards democratization in the countries of Central and Eastern Europe (CEE). This is particularly the case in the realms of the establishment of democratic values, the creation of civil society and the reform of local and regional government. Some scholars might regard the uneven nature of transition towards market economies as inevitable, even desirable, in the quest for economic development. But rapid transition to the principles of the market not only causes adverse social conditions, with the rise of the nouveau riche and a new underclass at the opposing ends of the social ladder, it also raises serious questions about the institutional sustainability of such a development. Political stability and the very achievement of democratization are not automatic results of the process of marketization: they need to be the object of a specific effort of reforming the structure of the state. Such institutional reforms are a complex and long-term process. It is this important aspect of the territorial re-organization of the state — the question of self-government at the local and regional level, in the wake of economic transition, which this books addresses.

Keywords: European Union; Liberal Democracy; Market Reform; Regional Reform; Democratic Reform (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 1999
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DOI: 10.1057/9780230374645_1

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