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Innovations in Sub-National Government in Europe Innovations in Sub-National Government in Europe

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Author(s): Linze Schaap | Casper Geurtz | Laurens De Graaf | Niels Karsten

Journal: Política y Sociedad
ISSN 1130-8001

Volume: 47;
Issue: 3;
Start page: 145;
Date: 2010;
Original page

Keywords: Democracia local | Innovación | Reforma estructural | Nuevas formas de acción

ABSTRACT
La mejora del gobierno se encuentra arraigada con frecuencia en los niveles descentralizados. En este artículo es el cambio dentro del gobierno mismo, principalmente la emergencia de la “gobernanza” y el cambio en el tamaño administrativo. Las reformas estructurales adoptan formas diversas: el aumento del tamaño para mejorar la capacidad del sistema, el aumento del tamaño para favorecer la participación ciudadana, y la reducción del tamaño para favorecer asimismo la participación ciudadana. Además, se advierten nuevas formas de acción dentro de los mismos gobiernos: cooperación transfronteriza, cooperación intermunicipal y nuevas formas de evaluación del rendimiento y de la gestión financiera. Los autores concluyen el artículo mencionando algunos desafíos para los académicos y para los gobiernos.Improvement in government is often rooted in decentralised layers of government. In this article the authors discuss the recent history of innovations in sub-national government in Europe. They focus on two general trends and developments. Cases of interesting practices and developments illustrate the general trends. For each general trend a distinction is made between two kinds of innovations: structural reforms and new ways of working within existing institutional settings. The first trend concerns changing relations between government, civil society and citizens, in response to the increased contestation of the nature of traditional representative democracy. Examples of structural reforms are: increased citizen participation, the expanded use of referenda and the introduction of the directly elected mayor. New ways of working are: forms of coproduction between the public sector and the third sector. The second trend described in this article is change within government itself, mainly the rise of ‘governance’ and changing administrative scales. Structural reforms take several forms: scale enlargement to enhance system capacity, scale reduction to enhance system capacity, scale enlargement to enhance citizen effectiveness, and scale reduction to enhance citizen effectiveness. Next to them, new ways of working can be observed within governments: cross-boarder co-operations, inter-municipal co-operations, and new forms of performance assessment and fiscal management. The authors conclude the article with a few challenges to both academics and governments.
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