Abstract Ganowicz

Hierarchy or Participation? Government or Governance? Theoretical Issues of
Local Democracy

Ewa Ganowicz

Abstract: In the past decades, the traditional, hierarchical formalised structure of local government has ceased to function efficiently. Local communities have generated new, diversified needs, therefore the number of challenges and their complexity has been growing. Additionally, the authorities have had to compete with other units of local government (vertically and horizontally). Local policy, with limited material and organisational resources, based only on local government, has not been able to fulfil its tasks effectively and efficiently. It is necessary to break this monopoly and to allow local community institutions the decision-making and implementation process. Thus, a departure from hierarchy towards partnership and participation has taken place, from government to governance. At the same time, by achieving the synergy effect, the effect of mutual actions has exceed the effects which could be achieved acting individually. The added value is that the civil society has been created by stricter integration of local communities.

Keywords: Local democracy, local government, hierarchy