Local governments are responsible for the delivery of a large variety of very different public services. The article is focused on two issues: 1) we try to discover whether the local governments in the Czech Republic prefer to be “producers” or “providers” of the waste-collection services; 2) we test and compare the efficiency of “production” and the efficiency of “provision”, and for this purpose we take into account various factors, inter alia inter-municipal cooperation, the existence of hybrid organizations, economies of scale etc. A main goal is to find out what the local governments in the Czech Republic prefer if they decide on the delivery of local services linked to waste management and what factors are the most important ones from the perspective of their potential influence on efficiency. Concerning the data, we analyse linked open data on municipal solid waste expenditure collected by the Ministry of Finance of the Czech Republic and data relating to features of waste collection obtained via a questionnaire-based survey which was carried out at the turn of 2015 – 2016. The results of the presented analysis show a clear relationship of dependence between the inter-municipal cooperation and the relevant costs, and it confirms the assumption that the Czech local governments undoubtedly prefer the position of “providers” in the field of the local waste management. Paradoxically, the results show that neither internal nor external provision of waste-collection services is a key factor of cost-efficiency.
This paper presents findings on the developments of PA education in 11 CEE countries and discusses various patterns based on the data on the historical background of PA education, forming thus the initial outcome of a more complex research carried out within the PAQUALITY project. The analysis is based around two main contextual factors: the role of imprinting (path-dependence) of the PA education in the framework of history and evolved PA ideologies, and the development of PA as discipline; and the role of institutional and HE legal factors on the current existence and status of PA education in the selected cluster of countries. The research question relates to the potential observation of differences in the development and current status of PA education in 11 CEE countries today. For this purpose, we utilize a co-variational international comparative case-study methodological approach, since this is a variable-centered approach, as it is acknowledged that a full-fledged theory might be absent in the framework of this specific investigation. The results indicate that we can argue in favor of the role of path-dependence in shaping PA education in CEE countries, where different starting points affected the outcomes in the content of current PA education. However, path-dependence is not to be taken as a sole factor corresponding to the development of the PA discipline in specific countries, as also more context-based factors and legal provisions do play the role. The outcome is that there is a lack of uniformity of PA education across CEE countries, where the country-specific context is the major factor in shaping the structure and content of programs, in some instances even creating new “sciences”. Although it would be expected to have some convergence in PA programs after almost three decades after the political and economic transformations started, we can even argue that PA education is more diverse now. This would give a specific role to the internalization and / or international accreditation in re-shaping and reversing the divergence processes in the future, but the anticipation for program consolidation might also be the factor that could have converging effects.
Daniel Klimovský, Zuzana Lacková, Veronika Černáková, Zuzana Maliková, Tomáš Šoltés and Tomáš Želinský
Fundamental changes that occurred in Central and Eastern Europe (including Slovakia) in recent two decades have caused that regional policy as well as regional development has become one of the hottest national policy issues. If one connects this issue with the existence of regional disparities, there is no surprise that also the EU considers this topic an extra important one. Various scholars point out that innovation policy is the right path how to achieve sustainable regional development and how to improve competitiveness of less developed regions. This article is aimed particularly at the innovation policies of the Slovak self-government regions and their outcomes.
Lenka Matějová, Juraj Nemec, Milan Křápek and Daniel Klimovský
Many countries have carried out extensive amalgamation-related territorial reforms at the level of local self-government and created relatively large municipalities. The Czech Republic is one of the few remaining European countries with a fragmented territorial structure. There is a lot of discussion in the country about the need for amalgamation, but this discussion is mainly based on political arguments rather than on empirical evidence about the feasibility of amalgamation and its potential to improve local government performance. This paper analyses economies of scale on the local level as a factor that should be reflected in debates about the pros and cons of amalgamation in the Czech Republic. To add to the existing knowledge about the reality of economies of scale on the municipal level in the Czech Republic, we processed the municipal costs of three selected areas on a representative sample of municipalities in the South Moravian Region. The analysis showed that economies of scale can be identified for collecting local fees and for pre-school and elementary education, but not for local administration. Our results suggest that the existence of too small municipalities in the Czech Republic results in inefficiencies and should be addressed.
Path dependence is a concept often used by scholars in fields such as economics, economic geography, political science, law and sociology to explain recent developments. In this article, we apply the concept to support the hypothesis that the democratic revival after 1990 in the examined Central and Eastern European countries and related set-up of local (self-) government institutions were more influenced by an earlier path taken than by a more recent one. For this purpose, we undertake a content analysis of relevant legal documents and apply an in-depth comparative approach.