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THE DEFINITION AND IMPORTANCE OF LOCAL GOVERNANCE

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Abstract

There is no precise and universal definition about what is administrative law, but rationally it can be determined that covers the organization, functions, duties and responsibilities of public authorities of all kinds who take part in the administration, relations between them and citizens or between them and non-governmental bodies. It defines legal methods for controlling public administration as well as the rights and duties of officials. We must say that administrative law theory over time has slipped into a legitimate model that underlies the political control of the administrative policy. It must be admitted that the role played by political decision making in administrative ones has greatly increased, viewed from the perspective of a very questionable democratic theory. According to legal positivism or Hart defined by Kant, the most important moral principles between standarts are identified as governing laws. So we first have the social fact, and this fact can be then a law. Thus was born the administrative law as a social fact. So a rule, can be turned into a law, welcomed by all the society. From the administrative law it was defined the local governance definition. The existence of modern already legal positivism, which enables morality or political morality to return to positive law through several methods become an inclusive part of a set of naturally beliefs.
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Aurora Ndreul
THE DEFINITION AND IMPORTANCE OF LOCAL GOVERNANCE
ABSTRACT
There is no precise and universal definition about what
is administrative law, but rationally it can be determined
that covers the organization, functions, duties and
responsibilities of public authorities of all kinds who take part
in the administration, relations between them and citizens
or between them and non-governmental bodies. It defines
legal methods for controlling public administration as well
as the rights and duties of officials. We must say that
administrative law theory over time has slipped into a
legitimate model that underlies the political control of the
administrative policy. It must be admitted that the role played
by political decision making in administrative ones has
greatly increased, viewed from the perspective of a very
questionable democratic theory. According to legal
positivism or Hart defined by Kant, the most important moral
principles between standards are identified as governing
laws. So we first have the social fact, and this fact can be
then a law. Thus was born the administrative law as a social
fact. So a rule, can be turned into a law, welcomed by all
the society. From the administrative law it was defined the
local governance definition. The existence of modern
already legal positivism, which enables morality or political
morality to return to positive law through several methods
become an inclusive part of a set of naturally beliefs.
INTRODUCTION
Albania is a unitary state since its creation. The
jurisprudence recognizes the unitary and federal states. The
federal states have typically two-level system of governance,
governance in center / federal as first level and in the federal
state government as second-tier governance. Such
countries are Germany or Switzerland. The unitary states
where our country belongs have a central government which
determines the general policy of development of the country.
The simplest definition of local government is that this kind
of governance is an institutional and legal organization such
that ensures that people within a given territory act
collectively to ensure their welfare.
Local governance need to happen when people live in a
community and have sufficiently close interaction (Crawford,
1999; 15) and to solve their problems they must work
together as a group in order to achieve the results they want.
Two basic elements that can be distinguished in this
government are: management of public services and
representation of citizens. These elements are not only
distinctive element of local government but also serve as an
indicator of the effectiveness of such a government. The
problem lies in determining which of these elements is more
important or more developed? This has changed from time
to time or from place to place. Nowadays I am convinced
European University of Tirana, Tirana, Albania
that we can not talk about the element of representation as
this element has been implemented already and fallen
ground. Today in our studies we can talk about times where
democratic governance elements are the basis for the
foundation of a state. At this point the problem remains to
determine how the function of providing services was due
to efficiency.
We should not forget that the local institutions are there not
only to provide various public services to citizens, but also
to represent in the best way possible the will of the people
(Tindal, 1977: 3). Finally, the question of why there should
be local government we can respond because of the simple
reason of providing various public services to citizens and
ensure the representation of the will of the people.
In relation to the fact of being an instrument of democracy
about local governance, there are opponents who see it as
something abstract because you can associate this with low
participation of citizens in local elections or with the lack of
competition between governing platforms, for now seen as
political party competition rather than governing platforms,
up to a point, this approach can not be underestimated.
Once, such an approach could exclude politics or political
dependence of local government and would be of great
interest and will bring more effectiveness. The system where
many European countries are turning more and more,
enabling the delivery of many public services by private,
through privatization or concession, can achieve something
like that. A system where local governments to divest from
political influence but simply be a steward of public service
delivery.
A local unit is a legal entity that provides public services to
its people within the territory where it exercises jurisdiction,
but it is also a democratic institution which from the decision
making point of view, is governed by a council with
representatives elected by the people who are accountable
to their constituents (Tindal, 1977; 2).
In order this kind of government can function, the literature
suggests that several conditions must be met:
There should be a clear division of responsibilities
between local and central government.
There should be a clear and easily identifiable division
in borders. Each citizen should know which local unit
belongs and to exercise his right of choice in this unit.
But we can not have a clear-cut division since today are
well recognized many forms of collaboration between
different local government units, which happens to be
offered one or several services to two or more units.
Consequently, such separation takes secondary
importance given the purpose sought to be achieved.
Each local unit needs a financial, geographic and
demographic base where it can exercise the rights and
take responsibilities.
This means that the unit must be able to administer the
taxes collected and provide services to citizens within
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SOCIAL and NATURAL SCIENCES Journal ISSN 1804-4158
VOLUME 10, ISSUE 1, 2016
SOCIAL and NATURAL SCIENCES Journal ISSN 1804-4158
UDC & KEYWORDS
UDC: 342’35 LOCAL GOVERNANCE CHARACTERISTICS
IMPORTANCE DEFINITION
ln.aurora@yahoo.com
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the financial capacity created by these taxes. Why is it
necessary to do so? As we know one way of controlling
over an institution or unit is the financial control. If you
do the opposite analysis, independence and autonomy
of an institution is greater when it is held by its funds than
when funds are provided by other levels of government.
This means that if the unit is not effective in meeting the
needs within its incomes, then it will have to seek
additional funding from other levels, and this will lead to
lower and easily vulnerable autonomy.
The local unit should be well organized from the
institutional and administrative reforms in order to have
a clear division of responsibilities between the persons
elected and appointed.
This takes us to a very important element that is
accountability. In an institution where there is democracy,
there must be accountability.
The relationship between directly elected officials, part
of decision making body of the council and appointed
officials should be productive and cooperative in order
to perform the functions of the services offered to citizens
(Tindal, 1977: 2-4).
According to the definition given by the OECD (Organization
for Economic Cooperation and Development), the local
government is based on fiscal governance, legislative and
executive authority over an area corresponding to the
territorial limit and a certain group of people.
Given the above definition we see that this kind of
governance is associated with two important elements,
decentralization and local autonomy. The question arises
what is decentralization? Decentralization is the provision
or distribution of certain functions, within administrative,
political or economic attributes, from central government to
local government. The latter is independent of the center
within the territory under its authority (Faguet, 2005; 6).
The European Charter on Local Autonomy defines local
self-government as the right and ability of local authorities
within the limits set by law, to manage public services in the
interest of the local population where they carry
responsibilities.
During his long experience and trip in America, De
Tocqueville, concluded that as much as American citizens
participating in political events or not, whether civil societies,
the more democratic values had a chance. So a wider
participation constituted an essential element of the
American democratic practices (De Tocqueville, 1966).
This means that the more closely the citizens' participation
in management of local affairs in a certain local unit, the
more likely to democratic governance, autonomy or self-
governance is this unit. Here we return once again to the
essential element of self-governance, namely the
representation and participation of citizens.
Because the process of governance is seen as a relationship
between civil society and government, thereby determining
the government's actions (Wilson, 2000; 51-63), if the
government has no adequate capacity to act, then the
process of governance remains something empty,
meaningless.
When it comes to local government, this concept takes a
broader sense. This is because the capacity and the
development of local governance affect the development or
not of a state. In this result affects several factors, such as
human resource capacity of local government units, the
relationship with the central government or autonomy in
decision making by the latter. Given that above we talked
about the relationship between the government and civil
society, in the case of local governance this relationship
goes in one direction, then the local government provides
services to the citizens, while the latter have limited access
to influence local politics in most cases, so the governance
link is no longer effective (Wilson, 2000; 57).
Consequently, to better meet the needs of citizens, is
required a decentralization of the main functions, delegating
to those closest to them. But decentralization, as far as is
necessary and indispensable and is the basis for a self-
governance, also constitutes a risk for countries in
development, where factors such as lack of human
resources, financial and institutional one, may bring negative
consequences for local units. Here we can make an analogy
with the process of integration into the European Union by
the aspirant countries. Besides the given detailed conditions
to be a member, a crucial element is the ability or capacity
of the aspirant state to be absorb by the organisation. This
means that the EU is open for membership if it meets the
requirements set, but is it the country ready for such a step,
as this would require a strict regime of tougher policies to
integrate. The same thing happens with the decentralization
process, the central government actually provides more
functionality and local units responsibility, but the problem
is how the latter are able to absorb and develop this service?
Although we proclaim the importance of self-government
organs and its autonomy, we must not forget that this
government itself is inextricably linked with other levels of
government through constitutional provisions, financial
relations or shared responsibilities in the implementation of
various projects that can take together.
Between decentralization, local and central government,
there is a complex relationship, because on the one hand
decentralization improves the operations of local
governments, but the latter operates through a number of
intergovernmental relationships that may limit their actions.
As regard the decentralization can not be understood
without fiscal decentralization. But in practice the central
government don’t think anymore of a of full fiscal
decentralization, as the national tax collector capacity is
many times more efficient than that of local government. A
complete decentralization will give rise to differentiation
between local units, where those with higher incomes will
further enrich themselves and those with low incomes will
become poorer.
Definitions related to local governance
What are the accepted definitions of terminology in local
government? As it is described by researchers or
academics?
Local government can be described as some government
bodies elected by the people that have administrative,
legislative and executive functions on the territories under
their jurisdiction. It is defined as an authority that decides or
determines certain measures within a given territory.
If we will do a literally analysis of the word or terminology, it
means governance or management of local affairs by the
people part of that community. Here comes the important
principle of subsidiarity, according to which local needs can
be better met and fulfilled by people close to them, then the
central government.
According to the researcher Clarke (Aijaz, 2007) local
government is part of the government of a country which
deals mainly with problems or issues related to a given
population within a given territory. This is done basically on
THE DEFINITION AND IMPORTANCE OF LOCAL GOVERNANCE
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THE DEFINITION AND IMPORTANCE OF LOCAL GOVERNANCE
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the responsibilities of a country that parliament decides to
delegate by the laws to local governance. In this definition
we find two important elements of local government, that of
the existence of directly elected local bodies and local
finances, which constitute common denominators of each
local government.
While Lockard (Lockard, 1963) thinks that the local
government can be defined as a public organization,
authorized to establish and administer public policies
within a given territory, the latter is a subdivision of the
central government. In fact the organization of local
government is public organization, changing from private
organizations, they are aimed at the general interest of
citizens.
Local Government according to Hasluck (Hasluck, 2010) is
the sphere of government where local authorities are
allowed by law to issue acts or decisions to adjust the way
of governance. In his book "Elements of Politics", Sidgwick
(Sidgwick, 2014) considers local government as government
of some suborgans that have special powers to issue
regulations or rules within the area which they manage. So
Sidgwick connects this government with its legislative
character.
Stones in his definition (Stones, 1968) defines local
government as part of the governance of a country, but that
deals with problems or issues of population within certain
territory or location. According to him, this kind of
government does the so-called "housework" so that living
in these areas to be affordable for its residents. It achieves
this by keeping the roads clean, children's education,
residential housing construction etc.
In a socio-developmental definition, given by L. Godwin
(Godwin, 2014) on local governance, he defines this kind of
government as management of their affairs by the people
of the locality where they are. Although short, this definition
socially finds place.
According to Humes and Martin (Humes & Martin, 1961)
local government should have the following features:
have a certain population,
a specific surface area,
the capacity to sign contracts or to enter into relationships
with third parties, i.e. the legal status and authority,
have a continuous organization and,
to realize the financial function therefore have the
capacity to collect taxes and determine its budget.
Hampton in his book "The local government and urban
policy" states that local authorities have boundaries defined
geographically, are organs highly functional, directly elected,
but on the other hand have disabilities related to the
determination of local taxes, this comes depending on the
determination of the margin from the central government
(Hampton, 1991).
But when Keating compares urban policies in different
countries as America, Canada, France or Britain (Keating,
1991) he sees local units as individual associations or
organizations who decided to govern its own works, by
defining the scope and limits of the powers.
For Wilson and Game (Wilson and Game, 2006) local
governance is a multi-functional and geographic
organization determined on pursuing social objectives,
economic or political ones, through funds given from above
or those provided by its revenues, which regulates and
monitors all areas of public services within the local
community.
If we consider all the definitions given above, it appears that
the common denominator of all these is at first the central
and local government relationship on the one hand and local
government relationship with the local community on the
other.
The main characteristics of local government
From the analysis of all the definitions made to local
government by different authors, emerge the following main
features:
first, this government has statutory status, therefore it is
defined, recognized and functions on the basis of the
laws of a country (in our country, in Albania, local
government bodies are constitutional bodies),
secondly, these bodies have the right to decide about
their own local taxes on the territory where extend
jurisdiction,
thirdly, they are characterized by the right of local
community participation in decision making process or
management of local affairs,
fourth, it is known the capacity to act independently from
central government bodies, within the limits set by law,
through the decentralization process or the principle of
local autonomy,
fifth, these bodies serve the general interest of the
citizens, i.e. common interest.
Analysis of all the definitions given above shows that local
government is a combination of several elements, such as
the existence of a local authority regulated by law, the local
population and a defined territory, autonomy limited by the
central government, separation of local and non local
functions.
While as its integral characteristics we can mention:
There has a certain local area. Each local government
unit has a clearly defined area where it operates. This
area may be a city, village, region, etc., depending on
the territorial organization of the state itself. Surface and
its limits are imposed by the central government or
parliament by special laws.
Has the local authority. Management or governance of
a certain locality is made by a body composed of persons
directly elected by the people of that area. This
representative body is responsible for the administration
of local affairs in that area.
Provides public services for residents of the area within
its jurisdiction, which is the main goal of this government.
Local finances: In order to provide services and perform
functions effectively, it is imperative that the local unit
has its own finances. Because the services it provides
to citizens should be financially covered. These finances
can be obtained from local taxes but also from state
subsidies.
Local autonomy: This means that the local government
has the right to establish and operate in the activities and
functions that are recognized by law. It also includes the
legal right of local residents to choose their
representatives that will govern the territory under the
set laws. It should be noted that autonomy does not
mean sovereignty over these bodies, as belonging and
legally depending on state structures.
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Local Participation: The success or failure of the
development plans of the territory it relates to how much
active participation of the local people is there. Through
this government it is sought greater participation of
people who are given the opportunity to participate in the
decision making process. Its a condition that, if a goal to
be achieved, then the participation of the public should
be necessarily.
Local Leadership: Usually people who deal with local
governments, especially in rural areas, are characterized
by a lack of experience, professionalism. Therefore they
should be provided with leadership-management skills
in order to develop various projects initiated.
Local accountability: This means that local
representatives of the people are elected by them to
meet the ultimate goal that is to provide services in the
most effective manner possible. If this is not achieved
then the vote of the people make them to not be
re-elected at the next election.
Local development: This is very important feature,
because the primary goal is the development of local
government within the area which exercises jurisdiction.
The importance of local government
The importance of this government is primarily in support of
democracy. As if democracy is to function properly, then it
is necessary the participation of as many citizens in the
decision making process. Progress achieved on the basis
of these methods is more solid and democratic than that
achieved over the communist totalitarian methods.
As the first Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru said in
1948 (Aijaz, 2007):
"... Self-governance is and should be the basis of any truly
democratic system. You can not build a consolidated
democracy, if you don’t build its foundation from below ... "
Secondly, the local government can create future leaders.
This means that local government is a training period and
effective enough to gain experience and knowledge on the
art of government policy-making and governance transition
to nationwide. This has happened in our country, where
yesterday's mayors have used their position as a
springboard to move to the party leadership or central
governments. This underlines once again that the best
school of democracy and the best guarantee for success is
the practice in local government.
Thirdly, its importance lies in the fact that manages much
better and more efficiently the local affairs as it is closer to
the needs of citizens.
Finally, its importance lies in the fact that it serves as a
communication tool and an intermediary between the central
government and the people or community. Thus
requirements of citizens are transmitted to the central
government by local government bodies and on the other
hand the central government policies are made known to
the public through local government organs. This two-way
relationship makes possible a close relationship between
people and high levels of government.
CONCLUSION
There are many definitions regarding the local governance
from many authors, each of them depending on the way that
has studied it. The local governance has some very
important characteristics that gives its importance, such as
decentralization and local autonomy, which made the
function part of it.
Its importance regards the fact that it better suits the local
needs, but also gives a better representation of the local
peoples and their will. Also, this kind of government can
serve as a trampoline for the national leadership in the
future. But also it’s a communication tool between the central
and local authorities and people.
REFERENCES
Aijaz, R. (2007). “Challenges for urban Local Governments in India”,
Asia Research Centre Working Paper 19, retrieved from
www.lse.ac.uk/asiaResearchCentre/_files/ARCWP19_Aijaz.pdf on
February 22.
Crawford, A. (1999, October 28). “The local governance of crime:
Appeals to community and partnerships”; ISBN-13: 978
0198298458.
De Tocqueville, A. (1966). “Democracy in America”, Published by
Arlington House.
Faguet, J. P. (2005 August). “Governance from below, a theory of
local government with two empiricaltests”, Research paper,
http://sticerd.lsc.ac.uk/dps/pepp/pepp12.pdf
Godwin, M. L., & Foremand, D. S. (2014, December 11). “Local
politics and mayoral elections in 21st century America: The keys to
City Hall (Routledge Research in Urban Politics and Policy) ,
Routledge 1st edition, ISBN-13:978-1138821316.
Hampton, W. (1991, May). “Local government and urban politics”
Published by: Longman group UK, 2nd edition, ISBN-13: 978
0582062047.
Hasluck, E. L. (2010). “Local government in England”.
Humes, S., & Martin, E. M. (1961). “The structure of local
governments throughout the world” 1961, published by Martinus
Nijhoff.
Keating, M. (1991, December). “Comparative Urban Politics: Power
and the city in the United States, Canada, Britain and France”,
Published by: Edward Elgar Pub,ISBN-13: 978-1852781552.
Lockard, D. (1963). “The politics of state and local government”,
Macmillian 1st edition.
Sidgwick, H. (2014, October 22). “The elements of politics”.
Stones, P. (1968). “Local government for students” published by
Macdonald and Evans, 3rd edition.
Tindal, C. R. (1977). “Structural changes in local government:
Government for urban regions” (Monographs on Canadian urban
government).
Wilson, R. H. (2000, April 3). “ Understanding local governance: An
international perspective” (working paper series).
Wilson, W. & Game, Ch. (2006, August 31). “Local government in
the UK” Fourth edition, published by Palgrave Macmillian, ISBN-13:
978-1403997876.
... Local government is a system of local governance that happens when people live in a community and have sufficiently close interaction (Crawford, 1999). Local government according to Ndreu (2016) involves two basic elements: management of public services and representation of citizens. These two elements are not only distinctive elements of local government but also serve as indicators of the effectiveness of such a government. ...
... The fact that central and provincial governments make grants and subsidies to the local governments enables them to penetrate these local governments thereby dictating their development plans and policy directions. According to Ndreu (2016), several conditions must be met for the autonomy of local government to be realized. These include: a. ...
... The independence and autonomy of an institution are greater when it is held by its fund than when funds are provided by other levels of government. This means that if the unit is not effective in meeting the needs within its incomes, then it will have to seek additional funding from other levels, and this will lead to lower and easily vulnerable autonomy (Ndreu, 2016). In Nigeria, local government autonomy is guaranteed in the laws of the land. ...
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Abstract: Communication is a process and part of human identity without which man could not exist today. Intercultural communication is a form of global communication, which refers to intercultural interactions between different cultures that appear in a social group with different religious, social, ethnic, cultural,and social backgrounds. North Macedonia and Kosovo are considered multicultural states which have ethnic identities within them, which are part of the mosaic and the promotion of intercultural communication is a test of the democratic development of these states. Therefore, this study aims to research and analyze the role of intercultural communication between local communities in both countries, communication of local government with the community, and community participation in public meetings as part of local decision-making. The methodology applied in this paper is the study of literature and the development of quantitative research with local communities. The results show that even thoughthe participation of local communities is low in both countries, due to various factors, intercultural communication has broken down barriers between communities and has influenced the initiatives for the organization and development of the community itself. Keywords:Intercultural Communication; Multiculturalism; Participation; Decision Making; North Macedonia; Kosovo
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