Local Innovations for Growth in Central and Eastern Europe

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Local development strategies represent an important response to the challenges of globalisation, while providing a mechanism for seizing the new opportunities that globalisation offers. Nearly two decades after the fall of the Berlin wall, this book evaluates progress made and identifies what needs to be done to speed up the drive towards prosperity in Central and Eastern Europe. It demonstrates that the success of local development strategies depends on the capacity of the government and its partners to accelerate change within the policy and governance aspects of economic and social development.


Participatory Democracy

From Ideals to Realities – the Lessons Three Localities in Croatia

Participatory democracy must bridge a gap between ideals and realities and is a sophisticated process. The analysis of case studies in Croatia shows that different types of participation are required, for each group of stakeholders and, at different stages of a participatory process (e.g., preparation, adoption, and implementation of a given programme) to minimise the risk of undue influence. Participation is more than the mere opening of a workshop to the public. It means rigorous, triangulated, multifaceted, methodology including interviews, surveys, focus groups, and continuous dialogue and reflection at each stage. Overall, effective participation requires the understanding of power as a set of complex social, political and economic relations. Without this, participatory development programmes can reinforce the status quo and reward the most articulate groups and the already developed and highly skilled municipalities.


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