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Expansion of Municipalities: Advantages and Disadvantages

Student: Nune Danielyan

Supervisor: Elena Shomina

Faculty: Faculty of Public Administration

Educational Programme: Bachelor

Final Grade: 10

Year of Graduation: 2014

<p>The democratic world places high emphasis on the local government, as the result of it shows the degree of freedom and democracy in a particular country, as well as the level of concernment of the population and their ability to co-operate in process of local problems solution. In view of the global tendency towards diversification of power and sovereignty of people much attention is paid the local governing in the Russian Federation.</p><p>One of the main trends in the modernization of the Russian local government is the enlargement of municipalities. To solve the problem of superfluous municipalities the decision was made to consolidate small municipalities or to insert them in other, larger and more prosperous, ones.</p><p>The<strong> object</strong> of the study may be considered as the municipalities of Russia. The <strong>subject </strong>of the study is the process of municipality enlargement in Russia.</p><p>The <strong>aim</strong> of the study is to determine the long-term consequences of the municipality enlargement for the local government in Russia. The <strong>tasks</strong> of the paper are the following:</p><p style="margin-left:78.55pt;">1.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; To review the relevant literature;</p><p style="margin-left:78.55pt;">2.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; To analyze the experience of foreign countries, as well as the Russian law on the topic;</p><p style="margin-left:78.55pt;">3.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; To study the enlargements in Russia, which have already been conducted;</p><p style="margin-left:78.55pt;">4.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; To investigate enlarged Russian municipalities, comparing the main economic and social characteristics before and after the unification;</p><p>It can be said that the topic is rather controversial. An amalgamation of municipalities has both obvious advantages and disadvantages.</p><p>The process of enlarging of different municipalities is becoming more and more popular nowadays and there are many reasons for it. First of all, in some small municipalities a considerable share of people are members of a local government. It is obvious, that maintenance costs in that case might be extremely high and be beyond the authority of a small municipality. Furthermore, there are many other advantages: prosperous municipalities may come forth as a driving force for less successful ones. Also, the unity may result in attracting skilled workers to new municipal unions and in solving the problem of staff shortage. In addition to this, it should not be forgotten that the enlargement might be accomplished only on a voluntary basis,that means that municipalities do not loose the right to decide on local problems.</p><p>However, in spite of the evident advantages, there are several drawbacks. To begin with, in this country there is no common strategy to apply. There are no definite criteria for municipalities to decide whether to unite or not. Then, the enlargement in its nature implies the increase of distance between an average resident and the local government, and this fact comes into conflict with the very aim of local government. And finally a joined municipality may become a problematic burden to the successful one, and the administration of the new municipality might need much time to normalize its work.</p><p>In the paper the main legislative acts on the topic were investigated, as well as the relevant literature, and Russian and foreign experience on the municipality expansion.</p><p>To make the Russian self-government more effective, some points of foreign experience may be taken into account. Also in many cases the priority should be placed on inter-municipal cooperation, especially on agglomeration formation.</p><p>In the paper I assumed that there are common criteria to decide, whether municipalities should be enlarged or not. The hypothesis of the paper was not confirmed. Needless to say that the situational approach is required. And the most important factor is the attitude of the population of a particular municipality.</p>

Full text (added May 29, 2014) (606.18 Kb)

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