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Journal section "Sustainable development of territories, branches, and production complexes"

Local Government in Russia: Reform Results and Prospects

Uskova T.V., Bukhval’d E.M., Voroshilov N.V.

5 (85), 2016

Uskova T.V., Bukhval’d E.M., Voroshilov N.V. Local Government in Russia: Reform Results and Prospects. Problems of Territory's Development, 2016, no. 5 (85), pp. 159-175

Abstract   |   Authors   |   References
One of the most important democratic institutions is local government which is considered as a form of self-organization and citizens’ participation in the management of the development of local territories, representing the country’s lower level of governance. Russia has an extensive, yet contradictory, experience in the establishment and development of local government. This government institution has undergone the most significant changes with the adoption of the Federal Law of 6th October, 2003 “On the general principles of organization of local government development in the Russian Federation”, with more than 100 amendments in a ten-year period. However, according to numerous studies of the Russian scientists, a set of objectives of the municipal reform has not been achieved due to various reasons of legislative character, weak financial and economic basis of municipal units and a relatively low level of the population’s activity in the implementation of local government. In this regard, it is highly relevant to evaluate and analyze the outcomes of the reforms, clarify the causes of the problems and define the prospects of local government development, which was the purpose of the research. The paper considers these issues from the perspective of the heads of municipal units, which is based on the monitoring of the conditions of local government in the Vologda Oblast, which has been conducted by the Institute of Socio-Economic Development of Territories of the Russian Academy of Sciences since 2007 in the form of a questionnaire. The monitoring is unique for Russia, it is different from other similar studies in its regularity, complexity of the issues considered, the examination of the situation in the context of all types of municipal units: municipal districts, urban districts, urban and rural settlements. In addition, the article provides the assessment of the changes initiated at the federal and regional level in terms of the establishment of the institution of “city-managers”. It also justifies the role of the youth (young professionals) in improving governance efficiency at the local level. The materials of the article may be used by state authorities in making managerial decisions in the sphere of development of municipal units and the institution local government, as well as to serve as a basis for further research on the subject

Keywords

local government, reforms, vologda oblast, survey, municipal units

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