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Faculty of Organisation Studies Novo mesto organizes 3rd annual Governance in (post)transition conference that will take place between 24 and 25 April 2014 in hotel Šport Otočec. Topic of 2014 conference is

“Effects of local government on system reforms”

Slovenian crisis management introduced a new set of public administration realities as well as desires. As such, the Minister, competent for local government announced the need to reduce the number of municipalities in Slovenia as well as their financing. Based on these requests, discussion on further development of sub-national governance is opened.

Because local government units are the subject of discussion in most post-transitional countries, we invite papers that will try to give insight into different aspects of local government development. Within this frame, we expect participants to address the issues of decentralization, regionalization, financial autonomy, amalgamation, participation of citizens, and use of ICT.

According to the European framework, local government shall be as competent as possible and capable of development on the sub-national level but many states created numerous local government systems without any real competences that would enable them to become a relevant actor of development. Financial dependency of local administration on state budget and centralized taxation system paralyses them to act on their own. Local development is often directed by the national and European level, due to all the limitations imposed by the state and the European Union. At the same time national as well as local levels often prevents citizens' participation by refusing or overhearing public debate on certain issues.

The conference welcomes papers on the following topics:

Role of regionalization in processes of decentralization and sub-national development

Regionalization is considered as a way how to effectively organize development on sub-national level due to the size of the regions. Regional development is considered as the answer to developmental issues that cannot be answered on national level due to their specifics or lack of interest. However, on the other hand regionalization might be a limitation of local development, because it demands coordination on the mezzo level of administrative system, where local communities need to form common agreement over certain issues. 

Definition of decentralization and financial autonomy of sub-national government

Decentralization and autonomy of sub-national government are two long lasting buzzwords which seem to change nothing much. Papers in this context should question the definition of the terms used and provide adequate support for understanding of what is decentralization and autonomy as there are many political misinterpretations. 

Amalgamation between rationalization of public administration and centralization

Amalgamation is an ever-present issue of all states with numerous municipalities and is considered to be rationalization of administrative procedures as well as possibilities to organize development in the boundaries of manageable territorial units. On the other hand, amalgamation can be and it is criticized from the perspective of democratic participation, especially when local government units were established by the will of people. Additionally, amalgamation can be considered as a way to centralization, especially when there is no legal provision ensuring fair redistribution of finances over the whole territory of amalgamated local government units.

E-democracy and e-government at sub-national level

E-democracy and e-government at the local level were for the last ten years considered as an answer to expensive administration and lack of political participation of inhabitants. In this manner we welcome papers that would assess the fulfilment of aforementioned expectations as well as papers which will define future development of technologies that shall support further development of the sub-national level, such as the concept of ‘smart cities'.. 

Double role of the European Union in local development

European Union is considered to be one of the main defenders of sub-national development and proclaims the interest to solve issues within the frame of subsidiarity principle. However, when it comes to the possibility to act, acquis communitaire is often in the way for not only national but also local development.

Political discourse between national and sub-national level

Papers in this field shall open the insight of how different levels of politics use major buzzwords (regionalization, good governance, autonomy, decentralization, reforms, etc.) in relation to reality. We expect to get insight in the difference between political discourse and reality of development in the field of sub-national development.

The organization board members will also be providing a special PhD students panel.

Short abstract shall be sent to uros.pinteric@gmail.com or janja.umek@fos.unm.si no later than 15 March 2014. Authors will be notified about acceptance by 17 March 2014. Full papers shall be submitted 15 May 2014 for publication.

We are looking forward to meeting you at Otočec.

On behalf of the organizing team
Uroš Pinterič, PhD.
Faculty of Organisation Studies Novo mesto