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Local Revolutions in Central Europe, 1990 to 1994: Memoirs of Mayors and Councilors from Poland, Slovakia, and the Czech Republic

Wisla Surazska
Publius
Vol. 26, No. 2 (Spring, 1996), pp. 121-140
Published by: Oxford University Press
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3330675
Page Count: 20
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Local Revolutions in Central Europe, 1990 to 1994: Memoirs of Mayors and Councilors from Poland, Slovakia, and the Czech Republic
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Abstract

The consequences of the introduction of municipal autonomy in Poland, the Czech Republic, and Slovakia are analyzed from the memoirs of 131 mayors and councilors concerning their first electoral term during the period 1990 to 1994. The analysis focuses on the mechanisms of mobilization and selection of a new local elite. Subsequently, the most frequent motive of the memoirs is discussed, namely, the want of local integration and tactics applied by local leaders to enhance integration. The recovery of local roots and traditions is the most frequent way to reach this objective, but it appears to have two-sided consequences. On the one hand, the fostering of local identity enhances communal integration and active citizenship. On the other hand, it initiates a drive toward municipal fragmentation. Also, the situation of local minorities may worsen in the process. Thus, the study demonstrates some more general phenomena coming from the assertion of local autonomy in Central Europe.

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