Urban and regional governance – post-communist or global condition of fuzziness?

Iwona Sagan
University of Gdańsk


In recent years, political spaces are rescaled very intensively by a combination of multifold processes defined as globalization, economic, political and social neoliberalism, systemic transformations. The discussion is dominated by the themes of changing role of the state, of political (re)construction of the regional tier or the cities’ renaissance. The paper focuses on four main issues. First, the growing differentiation and fragmentation of social demands and, in a further result, of political scene makes the contradiction of particularity of interests and universality of principles imprinted in democratic system a specially complicated problem. Second, there is commonly expressed necessity of active participation of civil society organizations in governance practices. However the general conviction that civic organizations are the right actors to represent the community interests and the only social force able to balance the domination of neoliberal economy seems to hang in a political vacuum. Third, in the institutional approach the development possibilities are perceived as a result of not so much the capital accumulation but of the institutional embeddedness. The approach is not free of shortages and ambiguity stemming from a danger of separation of the power from the representation and from the responsibility. Still prevailing sectoral organization of institutional structures negatively influences the effectiveness of institutional transformation into the more integrative governance structures. Fourth, the problem of scale in relation to the ‘good’ and ‘bad’ governance is a problem of negotiating the right scale for evaluating the priorities of development.

1 comment:

integrative said...

You may be interested in the Integrative Governance tm approach at www.integrative-thinking.com.

It is to be elaborated upon in a paper "Achieving Sustainable Development: The Integrative Improvement Institutes Project" to be presented at the Inaugural All China Economics International Conference in Hong Kong on 18-20 December 2006.