Decentralization, Democratization, and Efficiency (Reform of Federative Relations and of Local Self-Government in the Light of the Theory of Efficient Decentralization)
It has been attempted in the article to appraise the extent of validity of the thesis of efficiency of government decentralization. On analyzing the decentralization supporters’ arguments, the author demonstrates that if the strategy in question ever justifies the hopes being placed in it, it justifies them only in case there have been formed systems of democratic control in regional and local communities and the interaction between power levels is proceeding in the regime of cooperation. In case these conditions are lacking, decentralization is conducive not so much to increasing, as to decreasing efficiency of the public sector. However, counter-strategy, i.e. centralization, while relieving in the short-term perspective the negative consequences of an unprepared decentralization, at the same time, by the author’s conclusion, impedes development of practice apt to provide realization of the latent potential of a system under which governing functions are handed over to the local and regional levels.
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