Leadership and Urban and Regional Development

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The project 21320074 Leadership and Urban and Regional development was funded by the International Visegrad Fund.


The project was focused on research of interconnection of politics and civil society in the Visegrad countries. The main objective of the project was to find out how are politicians rooted in the civil society and what impact it has on re-election of politicians and on development of the region/municipality. Ambition of our project was to help to social society development and more open discussion between political representation and civil organisations and improve implementation of public policies.


IREAS, Institute for Structural Policy implements the project in a partnership with following organizations:


There had been many changes in Visegrad countries influencing democratic development in which the civil society played a crucial role (democratic changes during late 1980s, transition, EU membership, etc.).


The project was focused on a relationship between activities of the civil society organizations (CSOs), political representation and local development. There is a discussion concerning partnership principle and participation of (CSOs) in the political decision-making. Such a situation is for example in the case of the EU Cohesion Policy as there is a bulk of money to be allocated. On one side, CSOs usually promote these principles; politicians are more sceptical about them. The actual situation depends on strength of shareholders.


The project contributed to deepening knowledge about local development and to opener discussion between political representation and civil organisations. The project was oriented to selected municipalities, one for each Visegrad country. We include Prague, Bratislava, Budapest and Poznan.


In the research, we have to know, who stood as a candidate in local elections and also who has been elected. It was possible to collect such information from the statistical offices in the V4 countries. We also prepared joint questionnaire for the political representatives to fill it. In some cases we also interviewed particular respondents. For obtaining necessary contacts we contacted the secretariats of political parties. It covered main part of standing candidates in elections, especially in cities (for that reason, it was preferably to do our research in cities). We combined statistical information with information from interviews and surveys to analyse situation in particular countries and in V4.


Outputs of the project:


Contact person: Martin Špaček, spacek (at) ireas.cz