Citizen Support for Increasing the Responsibilities of Local Government in European Countries: A Comparative Analysis

17 Pages Posted: 2 Mar 2010 Last revised: 2 Jun 2014

See all articles by Steven Van de Walle

Steven Van de Walle

KU Leuven - Department of Political Science; Erasmus University Rotterdam - Department of Public Administration

Keith Baker

Northumbria University

Chris Skelcher

University of Birmingham - School of Public Policy

Date Written: June 1, 2009

Abstract

The transfer of responsibilities from central to local government has often been justified on the grounds of efficiency and democracy under the principle of subsidiarity. The existing models for mapping local government power in Europe, however, are often insufficiently detailed to allow in-depth comparison, and little is known about the level of citizen support for increasing the responsibilities of local government. This paper attempts to expand this knowledge base by using financial local government data and opinion data from the European Values Study to analyse these questions. It relates the level of responsibilities of local government in Europe to citizens’ support for increasing the responsibilities of local government. These findings are then used to develop a research agenda on the measurement of local government and to reflect on the difficulties facing the European comparative local government researcher.

Keywords: comparative local government, citizen attitudes, local government power, decentralisation, local government spending

JEL Classification: H70, H71, H72

Suggested Citation

Van de Walle, Steven and Baker, Keith and Skelcher, Chris, Citizen Support for Increasing the Responsibilities of Local Government in European Countries: A Comparative Analysis (June 1, 2009). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1562502 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1562502

Steven Van de Walle (Contact Author)

KU Leuven - Department of Political Science ( email )

Public Management Institute
Van Evenstraat 2A
B-3000 Leuven
Belgium
+32 16 323614 (Phone)
+32 16 323611 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.publicmanagementinstitute.be

Erasmus University Rotterdam - Department of Public Administration ( email )

3000 DR Rotterdam
Netherlands
0031 10 408 2518 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.stevenvandewalle.eu

Keith Baker

Northumbria University ( email )

Department of Social Sciences
Lipman Building
Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, Tyne and Wear NE1 8ST
United Kingdom

Chris Skelcher

University of Birmingham - School of Public Policy ( email )

Institute of Local Government Studies
Birmingham B15 2TT
United Kingdom

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