COMPARATIVE LOCAL GOVERNMENTS IN EUROPE
The paper aims to assess the organisational design of the public health care system of Montenegro from the organisational and legal standpoint, and in particular from the position of a likelihood for the system decentralisation through an inclusion of local self-governments with the goal to increase the quality of health care. The qualitative analysis is based on the method of case study. The research covers the analysis of Montenegrin legislation, and in particular Montenegrin and European regulations and strategic documents that refer to local self-governments and health care system. Individual and group interviews were conducted with top executives in the Ministry of Health of Montenegro, Health Insurance Fund of Montenegro and Ministry of Public Administration. The research shows that Montenegrin health system is predominantly centralised, and lacks substantial involvement by local self-government in health care related services. The need for a stronger participation of municipalities (and private entities) is indicated, for the purpose of achieving a stronger level of quality of the health care services.
LOCAL DEMOCRACY IN COMPARATIVE PERSPECTIVE
Local authority in Europe is a product of centuries-old tradition. Stoker (1991, 1) even says that local government is a key element in the political system of European liberal democracy, civilizational acquisition, and also a theoretical and practical component of any modern democratic political system. The most basic definition of local authority is that it is the level of government closest to citizens and has the task of representing the significance and views of the locality. In Europe, diverse and different arrangements or designs of local authorities have developed which differ both in scale, structure, and tasks, as well as in terms of their relations with regional and national levels of authority. A common feature of these systems is how they originated from their own traditions and historical forms of development. The second part of this featured chapter will concentrate on the prevailing typologies of local government that can be used in comparative research about local authorities in different national settings. On the one hand, there are many typologies which can be used in academic discussions; on the other hand, their usefulness is somewhat questionable because none of them cover all countries – for instance, many of them do not include the "new democracies" of Central and Eastern Europe.
CROSS BORDER COOPERATION AS A TOOL OF ESCAPING CRISIS CONDITIONS IN SLOVENIA
Of all the issues that democracies face, maintaining legitimacy and democratic accountability rank among the most important; a fact that has been reflected in a burgeoning literature that addresses what is commonly referred to as the democratic deficit. This debate extends to the local level, where conceptually and practically there is a need for greater transparency and accountability in the decision-making process as a means of responding to declining voter turnout and the necessity of having appropriate structures that are able to tackle the evermore complex and interlinked problems that face local decision-makers. It is a debate which espouses different interpretations of political concepts, such as the political legitimacy to act locally, the visibility and profile of local leaders, the transparency of the local political decision-making process, the most effective mechanism for political accountability, the role of citizens in local democracy, and the role of political parties and partisanship in local government. These discussions shed light on the similarities and differences between countries regarding the role of local government and local democracy, as well as providing templates and case studies about how these responses may best be able to transfer across national boundaries. The chapter seeks to contribute to this discussion by providing a comparative analysis of three countries (England, Spain and Slovenia), which are of different territorial and functional types (Northern European, Southern European, and Central and Eastern European) according to the categorizations of local government systems in Europe. The authors analyse issues of local democracy, with particular emphasis on elected mayors and local council size, and review the debates around those issues in all three selected countries. Moreover, they describe the systems of local government, and arguments within countries concerning aspects of local government and democracy.
SLOVENIAN POLITICS AND THE STATE
Article puts an emphasis on cross-border cooperation between Slovenian municipalities and municipalities in neighbouring countries of Croatia, Austria, Hungary and Italy in order to analyse different paths and methods of cross-border cooperation Slovenian municipalities are using in order to further own development and somewhat escape financial crisis conditions autonomously. In Slovenia every third municipality is border municipality, which means that at least small part of their territory borders with the territory of municipality in one of the neighbouring four countries. Since the central government does not rigidly regulate cross-border cooperation, but allows municipalities autonomy, each municipality can in its own way develop various forms and degrees of cooperation which are more or less intensively reflected in the proper functioning of these municipalities. In this sense we present our thesis that cross-border cooperation is becoming one of the important sources of investment and economic development of otherwise heavily crisis-affected local communities in Slovenia.
Slovenia is regarded today as a free country and consolidated democracy, with some problems with corruption, independent media, and independent judiciary. Since its independence in 1991, Slovenia has put in place democratic institutions of state organization, undergone major capital rearrangements, and achieved both of the starting objectives of new international involvement by entering the EU and NATO. On 1 January 2007, Slovenia was the first among former socialist countries to take on the common European currency. Slovenia has been subject to highly varying assessments during the construction of its democratic political system; it has been acknowledged as “a ripe democracy,” complete democracy,” or, alternatively, “apparent” or “virtual democracy.” The move negative assessments of the Slovenian political system are related to the persistence of authoritarian behavior patterns and manipulation of democratic institutions that have found its way into the structures of political parties. This book follows the Slovenian evolution from the second-smallest Yugoslav republic to one of the most successful post-communist countries in Central Europe.
(Simona Kukovič, Croatian and Comparative Public Administration, vol. 17, no.2, 2017, pp. 167-187, available here).
The paper discusses the application of certain aspects of political leadership in Slovenian municipalities. The author investigates how Slovenian mayors perceive their role in the local community, how they perceive the function of political leadership, and which characteristics prevail in the leadership of Slovenian municipalities. The author is particularly interested whether mayors place an emphasis on the characteristics of leaders or of managers while leading their municipalities. The paper presents a newly designed typology, i.e. a characteristic typology of mayors as leaders and mayors as managers. Based on an extensive analysis of empirically gathered data, the author has discovered that the majority of Slovenian mayors lead their municipalities in a visionary manner, with a long-term stance on municipal development on the basis of established rules and procedures, and with a preference for personal contacts with citizens and the use of emotional intelligence. In the differentiated system of Slovenian local government mayors are mostly democratic, proactive, and strategically oriented visionaries, who see their position as a long-term mission.
(Simona Kukovič and Miro Haček, Annales - Sektio K (Politologia), vol. 23, no.1, 2016, pp. 97-108, available here).
Paper represents the analyses of executive political leaders careers in Slovenian local self-government system. The basis for the analysis are incumbency advantage theories, that argue the probability of electoral victory or defeat is not homogeneously distributed among the candidates, as several factors influence the possibilities of success of some candidates and the failure of others (seniority, membership of political parties, electoral performance, etc.). Based on the analysis of objective data and empirical survey conducted among mayors, we analyse the re-election of mayors in Slovenian local self-government with the emphasis on their seniority. We confirmed the hypothesis that candidate’s political seniority has positive impact on their chances of leadership continuity. We also confirmed that the electoral vulnerability of mayors decreases with seniority, as mayoral re-election rate is only increasing with every local election since 1998.
(Agnieszka Turska-Kawa and Miro Haček (eds.), Lex Localis Press, December 2016, available here).
Edited volume is researching the behaviour of democratic institutions of state regulation, to ascertain their relationship and openness to citizens and their initiatives, and is examining the possibilities of civil society forming policies. Special emphasis is being put on latest (non)democratic processes in both case study countries, i.e. Poland and Slovenia. In practice both countries rank in all aspects among liberal democracies. On the other side, there are different sorts of meagre democracies: exclusive, non-liberal, delegation and patronising. The book presents selected Slovenian and Polish constitutional regulations, as well as the organisation and actions of political authorities. Authors are seeking answers to different questions, for instance the question of the extent to which both countries have managed to approach the ideal model of democratic regulation since democratisation processes in 1990s. Authors are applying different methods when dealing with the mentioned subjects among which transitional, modernisation and structural methods are worth mentioning.
(Copus, Colin, Haček, Miro, Iglesias, Angel, Illner, Michal and Anders Lindstrom. In: Kuhlmann, Sabine and Geert Bouckaert (eds.), Local Public Sector Reforms in Times of Crisis: National Trajectories and International Comparisons. London: Palgrave McMillan, 2016, pp. 301-315).
Chapter explores the debate about the direct election of the mayors through the lens of local political legitimacy and accountability so as to examine reform intentions within different conceptualizations of political leadership—presidential (individualized systems) where power rests with the mayor, or collectivist (where decision making is diffused across committees). In so doing authors examine how accountability and visibility have been reflected in the reform of local political leadership (Steyvers et al. 2008; Loughlin et al. 2011; Rhodes and t’Hart 2014).
(Kukovič Simona and Marjan Brezovšek, World Political Science, April 2016, vol. 12, no. 1, pp. 69-85, available here).
In this paper, the authors analyse the institutional aspects of local governance. After the local government reforms, two main currents of change were created among European countries, namely the (quasi-) parliamentarisation administration systems committees, and (quasi-) presidentialisation through the form of elected mayors. Through an overview of the changes in the Slovenian local self-government in the last two decades, the authors determine a gradual transition from parliamentarism (with a relatively strong legislative body, municipal council) to the strengthening of the individual executive body (mayor), e.g. presidentialisation. By using the calculated index of mayoral strength, the authors conclude that according to the mayoral institutional power, the Slovenian system of local self-government is closer to the countries with (post) Napoleonic administrative tradition than to the countries of Central and Eastern Europe.
(Kukovič Simona, Haček Miro and Alan Bukovnik, Lex Localis, July 2016, vol. 14, no. 3, pp. 303-320, available here).
The paper analyses the autonomy of Slovenian municipalities toward the central government. Slovenia is one of the very few countries in the European Union with a one-tier local government system, and while levels of local democracy have been on the rise for the last two decades, relations between the state on the one side and local units (municipalities) on the other has slowly deteriorated, especially over questions of municipal competencies, central oversight and the local financing of local communities. While Slovenia ratified the European Charter on Local Government in 1996, the charter was never fully implemented, as the subsidiarity principle was never fully implemented by the state. The paper will analyse the issue of local autonomy with special emphasis on the three mentioned topics, using primary and secondary sources as well as empirical data from several opinion polls conducted among stakeholders from national and local authorities.
(Kukovič Simona, Copus Colin, Haček Miro and Alasdair Blair, Lex Localis, June 2015, vol. 13, no. 3, pp. 697-718, available here).
Direct mayoral elections have in recent decades become an important and popular feature of many local governments across Europe. The direct election of the mayor enhances the accountability and transparency of local political leadership and gives voters the opportunity to gain important influence on local politics. This contrasts with councillors who choose the mayor in single-party private settings. This article provides a case study analysis of two directly elected mayors in contrasting political settings, namely England and Slovenia. Whereas England is regarded as the mother of all Parliaments, Slovenia’s democratic traditions are more recent. Yet nonetheless Slovenia displays all the features of a strong local democracy where an independent mayoral system operates within a nonpartisan political setting. By contrast, whereas England provides the longest-standing case of local democracy in Europe, directly elected mayors have only recently been introduced into the political system, the outcome of which has been mixed in terms of successfulness and acceptance by national political parties within municipalities.
(Čehovin Marko and Miro Haček, World Political Science Review, April 2015, vol. 11, no. 1, pp. 135-155, available here).
Even though some level of politicization is pressed into the “genetic material” of administrative systems, the majority of experts agree that a system with high levels of politicization is less efficient, as most individuals do not have the chance to develop their full potential. The weaknesses of politicization are even more devastating in smaller states such as Slovenia, as they have a limited amount of human resources available. Based on a detailed analysis of the politi- cization of civil service in Slovenia, the authors can confirm that the level of politicization is quite high. After accession into the European Union (2004) and the adoption of austerity laws (2010–2013), politicization increased even further. Despite the formal existence of a meritocratic civil service system, politicians have an increasingly decisive role in the employment and advancement of civil servants, and total control over the appointment and dismissal of senior civil servants. The authors conclude that the predominance of politicians with rela- tionships to senior civil servants can be changed with relatively simple adjust- ments to formal acts.
(Haček Miro and Marjan Brezovšek, Annales - Series Historia et sociologia, 2014, vol. 24, no. 1, pp. 1-12).
After the collapse of the non-democratic regime in the early 1990s, public opinion surveys became important fac- tor in the process of democratic decision-making. Authors are analysing the results of public opinion surveys, which bring together data on the attitude of the general public towards democracy, (dis)satisfaction with the political situ- ation and (dis)satisfaction with most important political institutions; special emphasis is given to the general public’s (dis)trust toward the judiciary. Based on the data obtained authors allocate Slovenia’s position compared to other established European democracies as well as post-communist countries from Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) on the scale of the relationship of the dimensions of societal trust in political power.
(Marjan Brezovšek, Faculty of Social Sciences Publishing House, 2014).
The aim of this book is to show the constitutional and historical framework of local self-government in Slovenia and to emphasize the main processes in the implementation of local self-government reforms. The book consists of two parts: after the brief introduction to the concept of local self-government the first part considers basic regulation of Slovenian local self-government, and the second part deals with historical roots of Slovenia local self-government. Having practiced local self-government in a fashion from the mid-19th century until 1955, Slovenia had an unusually long tradition of local autonomy. Then, after 40 years of Communist Party communal rule, local elected governance returned to Slovenian communities in 1995, providing local governments the opportunity to independently manage their own matters within their areas of competency. One of the problems is also the non-existence of regions and regional planning in Slovenia despite the constitutionally established regional level of self-government. Slovenia is so one of the most centralized countries in Europe. Local self-government is under strong auspices of the state in terms of content and finances. One of the reasons for the crisis in Slovenian local self-government is also the large number of inefficient municipalities, which strengthens centralization of the state. The reform of local self-government in the Republic of Slovenia is not a one-off act but a complex and dynamic process, which will continue in the future.
(Simona Kukovič, Faculty of Social Sciences Publishing House, 2014).
The second book in the collection “Local-self Government in Slovenia” with subtitle Organisational aspects analysis normative roles and functions of three basic bodies of local self-government in Slovenia – mayor, municipal council and supervisory council. Furthermore, also municipal administration as an executive support body is included. The book encompasses many empirical data as base for analysis the relations between key actors of executive and legislative branch of power: the mayor vs. deputy-mayor(s); the mayor vs. municipal council and the mayor vs. chief executive officer. The author of the book adequately confronted theoretical concepts with practical aspect and that is why this book is offered as fundamental scientific monograph that comprehensively analyses the organisation of local authorities in terms of political science in Slovenia. As such, it will certainly significantly facilitate the acquisition of knowledge to all who need this kind of knowledge or they have interest in the functioning of local self-government in Slovenia.
(Miro Haček, Faculty of Social Sciences Publishing House, 2014).
Third book in the collection »Slovenian local self-government« covers in open journal style re-print several most intriguing dynamical aspects of Slovenian local democracy, i.e. re-elections of mayors in Slovenian municipalities, non-partisan candidates and lists at local elections, and e-democracy and e-participation tools and their usage in Slovenian municipalities. Author is presenting several rather unique features of Slovenian local democracy, that have developed in last decade, for instance the dominance of non-partisan candidates and list at mayoral and local council elections, where political parties are loosing more and more ground in each successive term, but fail to gain ground again and are consequently being pushed out of local political altogether. The atmosphere in Slovenia is also indeed quite favorable for the re-election of mayors: first, in 77 Slovenian municipalities, the incumbent mayors are now at least in their third consecutive term of office; second, 19 municipalities have had the same mayors since 1994 (hence, they are currently serving their fifth term); and third, 31 municipalities have had the same mayors since they were established.
(Simona Kukovič and Miro Haček, World Political Science Review, de Gruyter, January 2014, vol. 10, no. 1, pp. 25-44, available here).
Paper analyses the usage of e-democracy in Slovenian municipalities from the viewpoint of e-participation tools. Theoretical origin of the paper is the theory of e-democracy in connection with the information and communication technology (ICT). ICT allows participation and inclusiveness to the citizens in the processes of decision making with the usage of various tools of e-participation (e-contact, e-forum, e-survey, e-petition, etc.). We analyzed official web pages of all 211 Slovenian municipalities and found out that all municipalities offer e-access and various forms of e-consultations to its citizens, but other e-tools can only be sparsely found. In addition, the comparative analysis of the survey results from 2006 and 2009 shows that the number of municipalities, which offer diverse tools of e-participation, is slowly decreasing.
(Miro Haček, Simona Kukovič and Marjan Brezovšek, Friedrich Ebert Stiftung and Publishing House of Faculty of Social Sciences, 2013, available here).
According to the Nations in transitand HDI measurements, Slovenia is regarded as a democratic country yet with some measurements it can also be found lower down the scale (problems with corruption). Although such measurements are not completely accurate, most of them rank Slovenia among the most successful countries in democratic transition. Since gaining independence in 1991, Slovenia has completely put in place all democratic institutions of state organisation, mostly undergone major capital rearrangements (privatisation, liberalisation, denationalisation) and achieved both of the starting objectives of new international involvement together with fulfilment of their criteria (entering the EU and NATO). Authors were motivated to write this book by the recognition that these days there are more calls for research to examine the actual behaviour of democratic institutions of state regulation, to ascertain their relationship and openness to citizens and their initiatives and check the possibilities of civil society forming policies. The book presents Slovenia’s constitutional regulation, as well as the organisation and actions of Slovenian authority. The description of the country’s democratic development highlights the democratic deficits and considers the possibilities of future development.
(Miro Haček, Simona Kukovič and Marjan Brezovšek, Communist and Post-communist Studies, June 2013, vo. 46, no. 2, pp. 255-261, available here.
Corruption is perceived in all societies as a social pathology that causes great material and moral damage and is a threat to the society’s continual development. Especially in coun- tries with a freshly consolidated democracy, as Slovenia, the phenomena of corruption must be treated with all due attention. This article emphasises that corruption in Slovenia is publicly perceived as one of the most important and even increasing problems in society. We are also analysing one of the crucial side effects of the corruption, resulting itself in ever deeper public distrust to most significant political and administrative institutions.
(Miro Haček and Anja Grabner, Croatian and Comparative Public Administration, vol. 13, no. 1, pp. 213-230, available here.
Since independence in 1991, local self-government reform has been considered one of the most important projects of the Slovenian state. A key aspect was the introduction of different forms of local democracy and sub-municipal units into the newly established units of local government. The main goal of this paper is to analyze the process of sub-decentralization, establishment of sub-municipal units of local government. The paper emphasizes their level of autonomy, which is dependent upon the size of municipality. We will assume that the establishment of sub-municipal units is one of the ways to increase public participation at the municipal level, and analyze: a) why municipalities undertake sub-municipal divisions that are entirely dependent upon their decisions; and b) how the level of sub-municipal autonomy is dependent upon municipal size. The hypothesis was examined using a survey of 80 Slovenian municipalities and analysis of statistical data acquired from the National Statistical Office.
(Simona Kukovič and Miro Haček, Lex Localis, April 2013, vol. 11, no. 2, pp. 87-99).
This paper analyses the political career of a key executive body in the Slovenian local self-government system – the mayor. The paper first introduces incumbency advantage theories. These theories argue that the probability of electoral victory or defeat is not homogeneously distributed among the candidates, as several factors influence the possibilities of success of some candidates and the failure of others (seniority, membership of political parties, electoral performance, etc). Based on an analysis of objective data and data from an empirical survey conducted among mayors of Slovenian municipalities, we look at the re-election of mayors in Slovenian local self-government with the emphasis on their seniority. We find that the re-election of mayors is a frequent occurrence in Slovenia and is a trend that has also increased with every local election thus far.
(Lea Nahtigal and Miro Haček, Translyvanian Review of Administrative Sciences, 39E/2013, pp. 108-127, available here.
In the context of the civil service system re- form, the new normative framework adopted in 2002 introduced a new management arrange- ment in public administration, whose consequen- ce was the transition of senior positions within ministries, bodies within ministries, and govern- ment offices from political officials to positional civil servants with a limited term of office, who have thus become the most senior civil servants, called administrative managers. Based on exten- sive empirical research and statistical data, this article provides an in-depth analysis of the status and position of administrative managers, which is intended to serve as a test whether the apex of the Slovenian administrative system is politicized and in what form. In the so-called new democra- cies, politicization most often is manifested as a violation of the principles of political neutrali- ty characteristic of a professional civil service, through personalized and biased appointments of senior civil servants and in the low degree of protection against lay-offs of civil servants on po- litical grounds. Administrative managers thus of- ten have to decide between political susceptibility and trustworthiness versus professionalism and professional accountability, for their tasks belong to the administrative and political realms. This poses a question about the degree of influence politicians exert on administrative managers and the rate of success with which administrative managers manage to retain their professionalism and independence, which should represent the key characteristics of a senior civil servant.
(Miro Haček, Translyvanian Review of Administrative Sciences, 35E/2012, pp. 93-106).
In modern democracies, senior civil servants have outgrown their classic role of mere implementers of orders given by politicians. Both senior civil servants and politicians serve the same democratic state, and both are heirs to the democratic evolution. Our hypothesis is based mainly on the historically developed division of labor between bureaucracy and politics. Senior civil servants have never been tasked with creating the conditions for more democracy in the state, but instead with creating the conditions for a more effective and successful state. Given that political bodies in which politicians operate have been established as the institutionalized personification of democracy, the task of politicians is above all the promotion of democracy, its values and norms. We have tested that hypothesis on the case of Slovenian senior civil servants and politicians and found out, that both elites are favorable to political freedoms and political equality.
(Irena Bačlija and Miro Haček, International Journal on Minority and Group Rights, vol. 19, 2012, pp. 53-68).
This article aims to study the existing models of political representation of the Roma minority in Slovenia. The research analyses two existing models of political participation, namely, the political representation model employed in 2002 and the policy formation model introduced in 2007. As the state is limited in securing adequate representation of minority groups in an electoral democracy, conditions for minorities to have equal opportunity and to be effectively involved in public life must be created. This can be achieved with representation in advisory and decision-making institutions such as elected bodies and assemblies of national minority affairs; local and autonomous levels of administration; self-administration by a national minority in aspects concerning its identity, especially in circumstances where autonomy on a territorial basis does not apply; and decentralised or local forms of government. Based on surveys conducted in 2004 and 2008 we have tried to identify trends in the performance of the political representation model. The research work has made some interesting findings with regard to the relationship between the two models. It appears that the political representation model acts as a platform for positive change while the policy formation model is a source of conflict among Roma representatives.
(Simona Kukovič, Miro Haček and Anja Grabner, Czech Political Science Review, 2012, vol. 19, no. 3, pp. 218-233).
The paper analyses the position and role of the mayor in the Slovenian system of local self-government. This role has changed significantly since the communist times, and even since the mid-1990s, when Slovenia re-introduced the system of local self-government. We track those changes and analyse them in this paper. Our theoretical anchor is the work by Mouritzen and Svara (2002), in which they categorise ideal-type models of executive government at the sub-national levels of government and the relations inside the executive. Using data gathered in 2011 and 2012 in a majority of Slovenian municipalities, we analyse the governing of the mayor and try to ascertain to what extend it depends on the political parties that constitute municipal councils, on the municipal administration, and also on the institutional framework within which municipal governments function.
A suitable quality level of municipal administration is a basic condition for the existence and development of every activity, not only for market-oriented organizations but also the public sector. Slovenian municipalities have not yet adopted a general policy on quality, and it is therefore difficult to speak about the systematic introduction of entrepreneurial principles in municipal administrations. The paper analyzes the results of an extensive empirical research project on administrative capacity carried out among the directors of municipal administrations with an emphasis on the attempts to introduce entrepreneurial principles to municipal administrations.
(Simona Kukovič and Miro Haček, World Political Science Review, Berkeley University Press, 2011, vol. 7, no. 1, available here.
The paper focuses on a lesser-known political phenomenon observed in Slovenia since the country gained its independence in 1991. At every local election since then, non-partisan candidates and lists – often called independent in the media – have been gaining more votes and increasing support. By analyzing the results of the last five local elections, we manifested that there are three origins of the success of these non-partisan candidates and lists. We also try to ascertain whether non-partisan candidates and lists are truly a product of an anti-party political culture, climate and movements, or whether they are simply another way for political parties to gain political power at local levels of government.
(Haček Miro, Romanian Journal of Political Science, Spring 2010, vol. 10, no. 1, pp. 38-51).
The paper focuses on a less known political phenomenon observed in Slovenia since the country gained its independence in 1991. At every local election since 1994, non-partisan candidates and lists—often called independent in the media—have been gaining more votes and increasing support. For various reasons, this phenomenon does not exist at the national level of the government, while local elections are occasionally perceived as not being so important and are often in the shadow of presidential or parliamentary elections. By drawing on several debates, analyses, and empirical researches, we make the presumption in this paper that there are three origins of the success of these non-partisan candidates and lists. We also try to ascertain whether non-partisan candidates and lists are truly a product of an anti-party climate and movements or whether they are simply another way for political parties to gain political power at local levels of government. Simultaneously, we analyze the success and appearance of local and regional political parties at local elections.
(Haček, Miro. In: Staronova, Katarína (ed.). Corruption and anti-corruption measures in Central and Eastern Europe. Bratislava: NISPAcee Press, pp. 65-76)
Corruption is perceived in all societies as a social pathology that causes great material and moral damage and is a threat to the society’s continual development. Especially in countries with a newly consolidated democracy, where democracy has just recently taken place and market economy has only started to develop the phenomena of corruption must be treated with all due attention. Widespread corruption can bring about mistrust in the state’s institutions and citizens’ disrespectful relations towards the law. It is therefore necessary that all avenues are explored to set up an efficient system which would prevent and suppress corruption. Slovenia is also a country with just two decades of democratic tradition behind it and whose anti-corruption system is still being established. In this paper we shall analyse the problem of corruption in Slovenia. The analysis itself will be divided into several sections in which we will discuss the problem of the definition of corruption, the implementation of anti-corruption tools and solutions, and the results of Slovenia’s public opinion research on corruption. We will emphasise that Slovenia, despite it being one of the most successful countries with a stable, consolidated democracy, is still building-up effective tools in its anti-corruption struggle and that corruption is still perceived as one of the most important unresolved problems in society.
(Haček Miro, Johannsen Lars and Karin Hilmer Pedersen (eds.), Pathways, Aarhus University Press, Denmark).
Abstract. Slovenia’s political history is above all the struggle of a small nation resisting foreign domination and assimilation over many centuries as a constituent part of various monarchies, kingdoms, a fascist state and, finally, a socialist federation. The impact of the pre-World War I period is still evident today in the traditional attachment to the German and Austrian models of the political system, parliamentary traditions and certain features of the political culture. However, the most important historical periods for understanding contemporary Slovenia are those of World War II and the socialist state after 1945. First, our aim is to present recent Slovenian history as we strongly believe that the key to understanding contemporary Slovenia lies in understanding its colourful history. Second, we emphasise the corporatist features of the Slovenian political system and argue that they are in fact legacies of earlier political systems and the still ubiquitous socialist lines of modern political reality. Finally, we pay close attention to the administrative reforms required by the EU accession processes, another key feature for understanding Slovenian state-building and politico-administrative relations. Based on classical politico-administrative divisions, we present the main hypothesis which posits that, in the case of a fairly young democracy like Slovenia, politicians are in charge of policy-making and are ranked above top-echelon civil servants who are the implementers of policy.
(Irena Bačlija, Marjan Brezovšek and Miro Haček, Ethnicities, SAGE Publications, 2008, vol. 8, no. 2, pp. 227–250).
Abstract. In its Constitutional Charter, Europe, as a multicultural society, advocates and guarantees the protection of minorities and emphasises the establishment of conditions for preserving cultural diversity. The protection of minorities is especially important given the large number of different nationalities that have often not only settled within the boundaries of their motherlands but also co-exist on common European territory. One of the most problematic concerns here is the displaced Roma community. The rights of the Roma minority are regulated by each individual country within its legislative borders but always in compliance with the related EU guidelines. The purpose of the article is to provide an in-depth evaluation of the current state of the Roma’s participation at the local level in Europe and specifically in Slovenia. The authors thereby seek to identify how the Roma question is being resolved based on an empirical analysis of the opinions of decision-makers at the local level.
(Irena Bačlija and Miro Haček, Romani Studies, Liverpool University Press, 2007, vol. 17, no.2, pp. 155–180).
Abstract. Throughout the transition period Roma populations in Central and Eastern Europe have been largely left out of economic and policy-making processes. Many Roma communities have been marginalised through poverty and physical isolation. When addressing this issue one should consider that if the Roma are to advocate better opportunities and solutions to their own communities’ problems they will need to strengthen the level of their participation in political processes. Since few Roma have any political experience, they need strategies that address the obstacles to the Roma’s political participation and the development of organised Romani political leadership. Such strategies should be implemented in legislation at the national level, considering the specifics and culture of each individual civil society. In Slovenia, legislators recognised this problem and amended the Law on Local Self-government in 2001 which obliged local communities and political leaders to include the Roma minority in the policy-making process. This led to the first elections of local Romani councillors in 2002 in 19 Slovenian municipalities. The paper aims to offer an in-depth evaluation of the institution, tasks and function of the Roma local councillor. Another goal is to challenge current practices and solutions and to criticise the method used at the national level to deal with the problems encountered by the Roma.
(Miro Haček, Public Administration, Blackwell Publishing, Oxford, 2006, vol. 84, no. 1, pp. 165–184).
Abstract. In modern democracies civil servants have outgrown their classic role of being implementers of orders given by politicians as their masters; they are now playing an increasingly important role in the exercising of authority – a role which depends to a great degree on politicians. Based on classical politico-administrative divisions the main hypothesis of this paper claims that in the case of the post-communist country of Slovenia politicians are in charge of policy-making and dominate over high-ranking civil servants, who are the mere implementers of policy. To verify this hypothesis, we will use several mutually complementary methods and techniques, including detailed empirical research. We have discovered that the relationship between members of Slovenia’s administrative and political elites does reveal competitive traits, but the conflict between the two groups is not such that would lead to a win-lose situation. Both high-ranking civil servants and politicians are in fact important and irreplaceable actors in the policy-making process.
Miro Haček in Schaeffer, Richard T. (ed.), Encyclopedia of race, ethnicity, and society, SAGE Publications, Los Angeles, 2008.
(Haček Miro and Brezovšek Marjan in Peters, B. Guy, Sootla, Georg and Connaughton, Bernadette (eds.), Politico-administrative dilemma: traditional problems and new solutions, NISPAcee, Bratislava, pp. 35–49, 2006).
Abstract. The conflict between civil servants and politicians has often been described as the basic problem of modern authorities. For this reason, one must understand and thus research the relationship between these two groups of very influential actors in order to understand the governing process. In modern democracies civil servants have outgrown their classic role of being mere implementers of orders given by politicians. Both civil servants and politicians serve the same democratic state, and both are heirs to the democratic evolution. Our hypothesis is mainly based on the historically developed division of labour between bureaucracy and politics. Civil servants have never been tasked with creating the conditions for more democracy in the state, but instead with creating the conditions for a more effective and successful state. Given that the political bodies in which politicians operate have been established as the institutionalised personification of democracy, the task of politicians is primarily the promotion of democracy, its values and norms (Aberbach et al., 1981: 174).
(Haček Miro, Asia Pacific Journal of Public Administration, 2005, vol. 27, no.1, pp. 91–106, Hong Kong University, Hong Kong).
(Brezovšek Marjan and Haček Miro, Central European Political Science Review, Spring 2004, vol. 5, no. 15, pp. 74–94).
Ever since independence, local self-government reform has been considered one of the most important projects of the new Slovenian state. A key aspect was the introduction of different forms of local democracy into the newly established units of local self-government. Local self-government, as the term itself implies, is one governed by itself – naturally, only as far as local matters are concerned. In terms of democratic rule, citizens would ideally govern their local community directly, i.e., they would take all decisions. However, the needs to be satisfied in a modern local community are too diverse and too complicated for all citizens to participate in continuous decision-making. For this reason, relations between elected local self-government bodies and local functionaries on one hand, and citizens of the local community on the other, play a special role. Communication between them is crucial if a higher degree of legitimacy is to be achieved and the public interest served. Although this communication should by all means be two-way, all too often it is only one-way. Most often, citizens would communicate with the bodies of local self-government in order to obtain relevant information. But this is only one aspect of indirect local democracy; less obvious but equally important aspects are gaining support, lobbying, inviting local functionaries and public servants to public gatherings, participating in working bodies etc. One of the purposes of establishing village, town and district communities was thus to enhance citizens’ participation in the different forms of public life by opening up decision-making. Local communities are one of the pillars of any democratic state, while citizens’ right to participate in public matters is a fundamental democratic principle. This requires the existence of local communities with democratically constituted decision-making bodies that have a high degree of autonomy and responsibility, as well as ways and methods in which to exercise these responsibilities – and all the resources required. Although it is now ten years since the development of a new, democratic and modern local self-government system, little is known of citizens’ participation in decision-making within this system. The area needs to be researched, in particular empirically. The main goal of this paper is therefore to analyse one of the key democratic elements of any modern democratic state such as Slovenia – the participation of citizens of a municipality in the exercising of authority. We do this by presenting a case study of the City Municipality of Ljubljana (‘CML’). In this paper, we assumed that different factors influence the degree of political participation in a local community and divided them into different groups such as political, macroeconomic, microeconomic and social factors. The methods we used were the acquisition of objective data about the CML and individual city districts, a survey conducted among citizens of the city districts Trnovo and Moste, a survey conducted among councillors of four city districts, a survey conducted among city councillors, and a statistical analysis of all the data acquired. We also looked at citizens’ participation in the local self-government system, which is a special form of local democracy, from the following aspects: its theoretical role, the functioning of local democracy, local self-government modernisation and various questions connected with citizens’ participation.
(Slovenian State and Politics, Brezovšek Marjan, Kukovič Simona and Miro Haček, FSS Publishing House, Ljubljana, 2016)
(Public Administration, Brezovšek Marjan, Kukovič Simona and Miro Haček, FSS Publishing House, Ljubljana, 2015)
(European Public Administration, Marjan Brezovšek, Miro Haček and Simona Kukovič, FSS Publishing House, Ljubljana, 2015)
(Local Political Leadership: Slovenian Mayors in the Comparative Perspective, Simona Kukovič, FSS Publishing House, Ljubljana, 2015)
(Measuring Administrative capacity of Local Communities: Case of Slovenian municipalities, Tomaž Rožen and Miro Haček, FSS Publishing House, Ljubljana, 2014)
(Organisation of local government in Slovenia, Marjan Brezovšek and Simona Kukovič, FSS Publishing House, Ljubljana, 2012)
(Civil Service System in Slovenia, Miro Haček, Publishing House of the Faculty of Social Sciences, Ljubljana, 2015)
(Politicians and Senior Civil Servants: Who Rules?, Miro Haček, Publishing House of the Faculty of Social Sciences, Ljubljana, 2009)
(Public Leadership: Contemporary Challeges, Marjan Brezovšek and Simona Kukovič, Faculty of Social Sciences Publishing House, Ljubljana, 2014)
(Local Democracy III: On the Fifteenth Anniversary of the Reestablishment of Local Self-Government in Slovenia, Miro Haček (ed.), Publishing House of the Faculty of Social Sciences, Ljubljana, 2009)