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Blessings of Local Autonomy? Does It Matter? For What? How?

  • Andreas Ladner
  • Nicolas Keuffer
  • Harald Baldersheim
  • Nikos Hlepas
  • Pawel Swianiewicz
  • Kristof Steyvers
  • Carmen Navarro
Chapter
Part of the Governance and Public Management book series (GPM)

Abstract

In this chapter local autonomy is treated as an independent variable. We want to know whether there is a causal link between the degree of autonomy and the performance of the different countries in terms of the quality of democracy, economic growth, corruption and happiness. The chapter starts with some theoretical remarks concerning the expected impact and shows that there are in fact positive relations between local autonomy and input as well as output-related aspects of local government. These links remain positive even when we control for the size of the municipalities and whether they belong to the group of former communist countries. Our conclusion, however, is a bit more cautious. It remains doubtful whether one can simply increase the autonomy of the municipalities to increase the performance of local government. This process is likely to be more complicated.

Keywords

Local democracy Local performance Input legitimacy Output legitimacy Decentralisation Normative justifications 

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Andreas Ladner
    • 1
  • Nicolas Keuffer
    • 1
  • Harald Baldersheim
    • 2
  • Nikos Hlepas
    • 3
  • Pawel Swianiewicz
    • 4
  • Kristof Steyvers
    • 5
  • Carmen Navarro
    • 6
  1. 1.IDHEAPUniversity of LausanneLausanneSwitzerland
  2. 2.Department of Political ScienceUniversity of OsloOsloNorway
  3. 3.National and Kapodistrian University of AthensAthensGreece
  4. 4.Department of Local Development and Policy, Faculty of Geography and Regional StudiesUniversity of WarsawWarszawaPoland
  5. 5.Department of Political ScienceGhent UniversityGhentBelgium
  6. 6.Department of Political ScienceUniversidad Autónoma de MadridMadridSpain

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