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The political economy of decentralisation and regional policy in Serbia: choices and outcomes

Avlijaš, Sonja and Bartlett, Will (2011) The political economy of decentralisation and regional policy in Serbia: choices and outcomes. LSEE Papers on Decentralisation and Regional Policy in South Eastern Europe, 3. The London School of Economics and Political Science, London, UK.

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Identification Number: 3

Abstract

The paper set out the main elements of decentralisation and regional policy in Serbia and describes their implementation paths. It assesses the progress and outcomes of decentralisation in health, education, social services and local economic development, while in the sphere of regional policy, it examines the numerous measures and financial incentives being designed and implemented to improve regional cohesion across Serbia. The paper investigates the inter-relationship of these tow competing policy paradigms ,and points out that cross-sectoral coordination has been largely absent because institutional setting has been intrinsically unstable and averse to cooperation, mostly for political reasons. Moreover, while delegation of responsibilities to local authorities has not been backed by adequate financial resources and little commitment to the process of decentralisation has been demonstrated, regional policy has seen significant financial commitment to its aims which have however been heavily politicised. The intended outcomes of decentralisation and regional policies, such as improved service delivery for the citizen and a better quality of life have been consequently often failed to materialise in practice. In conclusion, the paper identifies both positive and negative impacts of the decentralisation process, while it associates regional policy in Serbia with the emergence of a plethora of institutions with overlapping competencies in a struggle between political parties to seize as much political influence as possible. Finally, the paper offers some proposals for policy improvement in the context of EU pre-accession processes.

Item Type: Monograph (Discussion Paper)
Official URL: http://www.lse.ac.uk/europeanInstitute/research/LS...
Additional Information: © 2011 The Authors
Subjects: J Political Science > JN Political institutions (Europe)
J Political Science > JS Local government Municipal government
Sets: Departments > European Institute
Research centres and groups > LSEE Research on South Eastern Europe
Date Deposited: 16 Sep 2015 09:37
Last Modified: 16 Sep 2015 09:48
Funders: John S. Latsis Public Benefit Foundation
URI: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/63573

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