- 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
Greece, while described as the ‘cradle of Western democracy’, remains to be one of the most centralist state in Europe. This central governance is mirrored in Greece's percentage of local expenditure in GDP which remains the lowest in Europe and in the restricted functions of local government. Centralism remains to be perceived as necessary in order to sustain national unity and distributive capacities of the state in a country that has had to cope with political instability, regional divergence, and weak economic development. This article discusses Greece's dominant model of ‘pendulum democracy’. Within the context of centralism and the ‘pendulum democracy’, civil society in Greece remains weak and fragmented. Adding to these is the clientelistic political culture of Greece. All of these resulted in the confusion of political responsibility, frustration of accountability, inefficiency, and disintegration of the public space. While reform efforts have been directed to reduce centralism and the Westminster model of pendulum democracy, these however have little effect on the political system of Greece. The persistent fragmentation and the lack of cohesion of sectoral policies continually frustrate reform processes.
Nikos Hlepas is Associate Professor of Regional and Local Government, Department of Political Science and Public Administration at the National and Capodistrian University of Athens.
Panagiotis Getimis is Professor for Urban and Regional Planning and Policies, Department of Economic and Regional Development, Panteion University of Social and Political Sciences, Athens, Greece.
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