Local government: localization or universalization?

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Author: Armen Dzhagaryan

DOI: 10.21128/1812-7126-2019-3-98-107

Keywords: centralization; local communities; local government; municipal democracy


This article contains a critical analysis of the approach proposed by A.Larichev for the development of local communities in the context of urban self-government. Sharing the common conviction of A.Larichev that stimulating the local level is an important factor for overcoming the crisis of local self-government, the author warns against excessive enthusiasm for the idea of localization against opposing local levels of territorial self-organization, in which the local level is regarded as the main genuine form of self-governance. The view offered by A.Larichev on the development of the local level from the standpoint of compensating current tendencies of territorial and organizational separation of municipal authorities from the population in conjunction with the general criticism of the community model of local government in favor of the corporate model creates controversial guidelines for the formation of a municipal strategy based on the dominance of the criteria of territorial controllability, economic efficiency, and effectiveness. The article substantiates that localization itself may be relevant from the position of democratization of local self-government, such as in terms of expansion, creation of additional institutional capacities of local residents to influence the state of affairs in their municipality, and should not lead to leveling or weakening the role of general municipal democracy or its requirements and standards. The formal legal expression of localization is proposed to consider the institutionalization of local communities in the subject system of local self-government (person – local team – local community) with recognition of the rights of democratic participation (elections, referendum, and others).

About the author: Armen Dzhagaryan – Doctor of Sciences in Law, Сounselor at “Muranov, Chernyakov and partners”, Moscow, Russia.

Citation: Dzhagaryan A. (2019) Mestnoe samoupravlenie: lokalizatsiya ili universalizatsiya? Otvet na stat’yu A.Laricheva [Local government: localization or universalization?: An answer to the article by A.Larichev]. Sravnitel’noe konstitutsionnoe obozrenie, vol.28, no.3, pp.98–107. (In Russian).