Publication details

Local and more local : Impact of size and organization type of settlement units on candidacy

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Year of publication 2017
Type Article in Periodical
Magazine / Source Political Geography
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Social Studies

Field Political sciences
Keywords Candidacy; Participation; Local democracy; Municipality; Settlement unit
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Description Following current debates on the study of the quality of local government, this article focuses on the effects of settlement unit size and organizational type on candidacy in local elections within the Czech Republic. Municipal size and institutional design are traditionally seen as important factors influencing political participation at the local level. However, citizens in differently defined settlement units included in a municipality are disadvantaged differently by these factors and thus, de-motivated to participate in politics. The unit of analysis within the article is a settlement unit within a municipality. The article uses Poisson regression to estimate the effect of the absolute and relative size of the settlement unit and different organizational types of settlement unit on the relative number of candidates in the unit. The analysis is based on data from 6,124 Czech municipalities over three sets of elections. The results of the analysis show that increasing absolute size and decreasing relative size of settlement unit have negative effects on the number of candidates in units. Also the institutionally disadvantaged units (defined by the location of the municipal office within the settlement unit) produce smaller number of candidates. The results show the importance of structural factors on the traditionally neglected type of political participation (candidacy) within this field. This allows the formulation of recommendations for local government reforms, not only in the Czech Republic, but also for amalgamated municipal systems.
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