Local Government I 1900-5AST1
I. The scope of topics discussed during the lectures
1. The main notions related to local governments: decentralization, deconcentration, symetric and asymetric decetralization, subsidiarity, federal and unitary systems, core values of local governments
2. The main elements of the Polish local government legal system
3. Supervision over local governments' activity: the role of the central government, governonr, Regional Audit Chambers.
4. Territorial organization - evolution after 1945, debates about further changes
5. Local democracy in Poland - local election, local referendum, results of local elections after 1990, the role of political parties
6. Executive powers and local administration
7. Service functions provided by local governments; the role of individual functions in budget expenditures
8. Absorption of EU funds by Polish local governments
The aim of classes is to help students to understand the practical aspects of local governments functioning. Both theoeretical issues and their practical applications are discussed. The list of discussed topics include: (1) e-governance (is there local e-government in Poland? What are strengths and threates of using interent by local governments), (2) the size issue - what are advantages of territorial fragmentation and consolidation? Local democracy and participation vs economic effectiveness, (3) Bduget as a mirror of local governments. The most important sources of revenues and expenditure structure. (4) comparing local governemnts (sources of information, interpretation of statistical data), (5) representative democracy and participatory mechanisms (dillemas of participation, direct democracy, tools for community involvement), (6) is local government necessary in the modern state? Pros and cons of decentralization.
Classes have a form of a discussion, based on suggested readings or a form of oral presentations prepared by students. Students prepare short essays, read suggested literature. Preparation fo the homework is often required. Some of tasks have a form of group work.
Type of course
After the course the student:
-knows the main element of the local government system in Poland (including territorial organization, intergovernmental relations, rules of local elections, functions provided by local governments)
- is able to discuss the im[portance of local government for contemporary, democratic state
Final grade is based on assessment of students' performance during the classes. It takes into account:
- participation in the classes;
- forms of active participation;
- quality of written and oral presentations
- short tests checking the required knowledge, including the final test
75% of the final grade depens on active participation and presentations, while 25% on the final test.
Additional information (registration calendar, class conductors, localization and schedules of classes), might be available in the USOSweb system: