Local Government Reform in Globalized World

Open Panel

For the past three decades, most of the public sectors have been profoundly affected by the revolutions including globalization, privatization and liberalization trends simultaneously sweeping the world and the information revolution wrought by the computer age–where local government is no exception. Not only have these inexorable forces had dramatic implications for the structure of local government as a whole, and relationships between the different tiers of government, but also for service provision. “On the one hand, local governments are to act as the vehicle of local democracy, providing services responsive to local needs and conditions. On the other hand, local governments must constitute the local branch of the nation-state administrative apparatus, executing state policies in key-policy areas.” (Pierree, 1995: 38).
Local governance reforms are now truly global strategies that affect both developed and developing countries (see Kersting/Vetter 2003; Stoker 2002; Denters / Rose 2005). In broader framework based on participatory concept, structural, functional, administrative, financial, territorial and jurisdictional aspects become important issues for local government reform. The local government reform could be for the European analysis (like France, Germany, Sweden, the United Kingdom or any other European country), or like India, China, Malaysia, Indonesia; or African countries like Nigeria, Uganda, South Africa; and Bolivia, Chile and Paraguay in Latin America or Pacific countries.

Issues related to local government reform may be: Was it globalized driven? Was there a need for reform? Who were the main actors? What are the main goals of the reform process? Are these reforms oriented towards meeting the goals of the Sustainable Development Goals, the Millennium Development Goals, the Developmental State, Poverty Reduction Strategies or other frameworks? Is the reform process mainly characterized by pilot projects, sectoral approaches or is it an important nation-wide process?
The paper could concentrate on; 1. Local Autonomy 2. Governance 3. Service Delivery 4. Citizen participation 5. Financial management 6. Poverty alleviation 7. Development 8. operational constraints. The overall aim is to document processes of change and impacts of the Local Government Reform, and to provide key stakeholders with operationally relevant data and analyses of lessons learned during implementation.