- Preface and Acknowledgements
- List of Figures
- List of Maps
- List of Tables
- List of Text Boxes
- List of Contributors
- Introduction: Subnational Democracy in Europe: Changing Backgrounds and Theoretical Models
- The United Kingdom: Is there Really an Anglo Model?
- Ireland: Halting Steps Towards Local Democracy
- Belgium: A Tale of Regional Divergence?
- The Netherlands: Subnational Democracy and the Reinvention of Tradition
- Luxembourg: The Challenge of Inclusive Democracy in a ‘Local State’
- Germany: Varieties of Democracy in a Federal System
- Austria: From Consensus to Competition and Participation?
- Switzerland: Subsidiarity, Power‐Sharing, and Direct Democracy
- Denmark: Between Local Democracy and Implementing Agency of the Welfare State
- Finland: The Limits of the Unitary Decentralized Model
- Sweden: Party‐dominated Subnational Democracy Under Challenge?
- Norway: The Decline of Subnational Democracy?
- France: Between Centralization and Fragmentation
- Italy: The Subnational Dimension to Strengthening Democracy Since the 1990s
- Spain: The Consolidation of Strong Regional Governments and the Limits of Local Decentralization
- Portugal: Local Democracy in a Small Centralized Republic
- Greece: A Case of Fragmented Centralism and ‘Behind the Scenes’ Localism
- Malta: Local Government: A Slowly Maturing Process
- Cyprus: Political Modernity and the Structures of Democracy in a Divided Island
- Poland: Europeanization of Subnational Governments
- The Czech Republic: Local Government in the Years after the Reform
- Hungary: Remarkable Successes and Costly Failures: An Evaluation of Subnational Democracy
- Slovakia: Local Government: Establishing Democracy at the Grassroots
- Estonia: Challenges and Lessons of the Development of Local Autonomy
- Latvia: Experiments and Reforms in Decentralization
- Lithuania: Brave Enough to Implement Daring Democratic Reforms?
- Slovenia in Transition: Decentralization as a Goal
- Bulgaria: The Dawn of a New Era of Inclusive Subnational Democracy?
- Romania: From Historical Regions to Local Decentralization via the Unitary State
- European Subnational Democracy: Comparative Reflections and Conclusions
- Structure of Subnational Governments in Europe, 2007
- Subnational finances in Europe
- Trust, importance of local/regional government, and levels of corruption in Europe
- Subject Index
- Name Index
Abstract and Keywords
This article focuses on the development of local autonomy in Estonia. Estonia emerged as a result of the collapse of the Russian empire in 1918. The emergence of Estonian democracy was guided by the values of national liberation. After the defeat of Soviet Russia, independence was reasserted through the Tartu Treaty. In 1920, the first constitution of Estonia was drafted and a liberal version of parliamentary republic was established. However, the imbalance of the party system in the parliamentary system of Estonia caused instability in the executive of the Estonian government. In the 1930s, the Great Depression reached Estonia and caused political crisis which eroded the democratic regime. In 1934 Estonia through the Päts regime introduced a new constitution that established an authoritarian and corporatist regime. Estonia lost its independence in 1940 after its annexation to the Soviet Union. However, under Soviet Union rule, Estonia slowly began to gain a strong position in the 1960s onwards when the Soviet central administration began to collapse. And in 1991, Estonia ratified its own constitution after its independence from the Soviet Union. This new constitution departed from the principle of the legal consistency of the Russian empire and with the constitution enforced by the authoritarian regime in 1937. This new constitution allowed democratic elections and established democratic self-government institutions. After twenty years of reforms, the Estonian local and regional government today is still in a state of transition. For this reason, current configurations of local governance as well as intergovernmental relations could change drastically in the future. Although there are serious conceptual and political disagreements about the concrete direction of institutional design, there is a general consent that qualitative changes in local governance are inevitable in Estonia.
Georg Sootla is Professor of Public Policy at the Institute of Political Science and Governance, Tallinn University, Estonia.
Kersten Kattai is Lecturer at the Institute of Political Science and Governance, Tallinn University, Estonia.
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