- 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
- Estonia: Challenges and Lessons of the Development of Local Autonomy
- Latvia: Experiments and Reforms in Decentralization
- Lithuania: Brave Enough to Implement Daring Democratic Reforms?
- 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 discusses the transition of Lithuania after its freedom from annexation to the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR). The tradition of local democracy and parliamentarism in Lithuania developed during the Middle Ages. However, this formation was interrupted by two occupations. When the country sought to re-established its independence, first at the beginning and then at the end of the twentieth century, the achievements of the neighbouring countries were followed by Lithuania hence no specific Lithuanian model emerged. The system of democracy at the central government level is founded on a semi-presidential management model, although there are several claims that is has a dominating role of the parliament. In practice, power is divided, which is crucial in a democratic state. While Lithuania has a decentralized law on self-government at the local level, this is restricted and controlled by a central government unable to develop local self-government and by local politicians who cling to their deemed valuable links with the central government hence unable to resist when their powers of self-government become weakened. And while Lithuania is in the process of developing into a modern democratic state, the nation is still on its way to maturity where more challenges and difficulties will arise.
Jolanta Vaiciuniene is Director of Municipal Training Center in the Faculty of Social Science at Kaunas University of Technology, Lithuania.
Saulius Nefas is Associate Professor of Public Administration in the Faculty of Politics and Management at Mykolas Romeris University, Lithuania.
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