Local Communities and Post-Communist Transformation: Czechoslovakia, the Czech Republic and Slovakia

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was the desire for independence, but it has often adversely affected communities' developmental potential.
From a research project carried out by the Sociological Institute of the Czech Academy of Sciences, 'Changes in Local Society', which examined a panel of thirty-five municipalities with 10,000 or fewer inhabitants, based on 'diaries of events' compiled by local correspondents during the period leading up to the June general election.
Researchers interviewed panels of local elites and representative samples of adult citizens in three Czech towns every two years. The size of the samples was in the range of 400–60 respondents. The surveys focused on attitudes determining political culture and on the social networks of local politicians.
In 1997 a survey of local public administration was carried out in the Czech Republic, as part of the international comparative survey financed by the Norwegian Research Council 'Local Democracy and Innovation II', the first stage of which had been undertaken in 1992. The countries involved were Hungary, Poland, the Czech Republic and Slovakia. Mayors of towns and municipalities with more than 2,000 inhabitants were interviewed.
This section uses the same survey findings cited in note 7.
Responses were collated using an ordinal five-point scale, where 1 meant 'cooperation is unimportant' and 5 meant 'cooperation is very important'.
Following the re-establishment of municipal self-government, the next step in the reform of public administration intended to strengthen self-governing and democratic tendencies in Czech society was the establishment of regions, as self-governing territorial entities operating at a scale between municipalities and the central state. The debate shifted to and fro in parliament and in the public realm for seven years (Vajdová 2001) about whether to have regions or not, how many and what their competences should be, before a constitutional law was finally passed on the creation of higher territorial self-governing units (VÚSC) in 1997, followed by further necessary legislation which established thirteen regions plus Prague as of spring 2000. The first regional elections then took place in autumn 2000. Turnout was poor at just 33.6 per cent.
'Outsider syndrome' was indicated by five statements. Four of them were adopted from Putnam's study (1993:110) and a fifth was added which was a modification designed to focus on local politics. Respondents were asked to express their agreement on a four-point scale. When factor analysis was applied, one factor explained more than 50 per cent of variance. We labelled it 'outsider sydrome'.
Local Democracy and Innovation (1990–2), Political Culture of Local Communities (1993–5), Cultural Changes in a Czech Locality (1996–8) and Social Networks in a Local Political System (1997–9), supported by GA of ČR and the Czech Academy of Sciences.


Baldersheim, H., Illner, M., Offerdal, A., Rose, L. and Swianiewicz, P. (eds) (1996) Local Democracy and the Processes of Transformation in East-Central Europe, Boulder, CO:Westview Press.

Buštíková, L. (1999) Acquaintances of Local Political Leaders(in Czech), Prague: Sociologický ústav AV ČR Working Paper 99:3.


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