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Directly Elected Mayors in Urban GovernanceImpact and Practice$
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David Sweeting

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781447327011

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781447327011.001.0001

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Breeding grounds for local independents, bonus for incumbents: directly elected mayors in Poland

Breeding grounds for local independents, bonus for incumbents: directly elected mayors in Poland

Chapter:
(p.179) Eleven Breeding grounds for local independents, bonus for incumbents: directly elected mayors in Poland
Source:
Directly Elected Mayors in Urban Governance
Author(s):

Adam Gendźwiłł

Paweł Swianiewicz

Publisher:
Policy Press
DOI:10.1332/policypress/9781447327011.003.0011

Directly elected mayors were introduced in Poland in 2002 in all local governments at the municipal level. This chapter discusses the rationale behind the reform, the arguments of the proponents of the change, the politics of implementing the reform, as well as actual outcomes. It argues that – opposite to some expectations – the reform has not resulted in increasing citizen interest in local elections. But it has strengthened the position of the mayors in municipal relations, brining Poland very close to the classic strong mayor model, stabilized position of mayors, and stopped the process of the conquest of local governments by national political parties. The increasing frequency of multi-term, long lasting mayors leads to discussion of possible further reforms, reducing the advantage of incumbents. But the system of direct election itself seems to be a very stable element of the local government architecture in Poland – it is not questioned by the current debates by any of important political parties or even by the councillors, whose role was reduced by the 2002 reform.

Keywords:   directly elected mayors, urban governance, leadership, local government, Poland, recall of mayors

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