¹ 4, 2004
Commenting on the article by A.Usyagin V.Lapin welcomes his attempt to put under discussion the issues of levels and qualitative criteria for establishing appropriate territorial government units. He believes, however, that Usyagin’s method could turn not to be efficient enough when analyzing the space that was left after a long period of centralized state government. Among the consequences of such government the author marks out, specifically, an extreme difference in the territories’ fiscal potential. The latter prevents a considerable number of existing territorial units from transferring to the independent governing of its social and economic development.
V.Lapin offers his own vision of today’s state development, of which the process of decentralizing state government is considered an optimal element.
¹ 4, 2003
According to the authors, the new law on local government has a great potential of transformations, including those in a social and economic sphere. Strict abidance by its conceptual provisions will make it possible in a five-year time to form a local budget sufficient to solve problems of local significance. At the same time, the law does not provide for a possibility to use the resource potential of local self-government, to use it for transition to sustainable development. A specific emphasis is placed upon modern practice of using new technologies of managing the development. The article appeals for a search for the economic models of local self-government that would correspond to the challenges of the epoch.
¹ 4, 1998
Local self-government has certain characteristics of power (state) institutions and of social institutions. Due to its dual, both social and public character, local self-government happens to be the central link in the mechanism of interaction between civil society and the state. In periods of crises, as is suggested by historical experience, it is extended rights of local self-government that the state-power bodies’ strategies should be based upon. Procrastination in determining local government’s role in the making of modern Russian statehood, and inconsistency in the implementation of constitutional principles of local self-government, may both prove fraught with major social tension and may, so far as problems of the country’s socio-economic development are concerned, spell protracted postponement of their solution.
The key issue if the organization of local government in modern Russia is the definition of potential self-developing sub-systems. However, the definition of a territorial basis for the local government remains quite a complicated problem today. To find an optimal solution we need to consider such factors as the volume of competence the local community is ready for, the level of needs of the local community, integrity and compactness of the territory, the prevailing type of economic activity, availability of due conditions for stable development of a municipal unit, and of appropriate infrastructure. Generally speaking, it is the settlement principle and the “uyezd" type municipal unit that mostly correspond to the conditions of big and medium-size cities. For rural areas it is the “volost” type municipal formation that suits the best.
The major potential subjects of cooperation in matters of regional development today are the state power bodies (those of the RF and of its subjects) and the local government bodies. Under the present political and economic conditions, the former mechanisms of development, bases on the centralized administrative system, are no longer valid. In the new situation, it is the local blueprint of socio-economic development that I can make the most adequate basis for the interaction of the regional M structures, on the one hand, and those subjects that represent them, on the other. Such local programme can be not only an efficient mechanism of development and of government, but also an organizational mechanism of negotiating the interests of all its participants, an economic mechanism for the concentration and optimal use of the resources, and a political mechanism of joint decision-making.
Unclaimed local resources are today a substantial reserve of socioeconomic development of Russia. The change of the structure of the state institutions and the emergence of a new power institution – local government – create the necessary prerequisites for the formation (release) of new resource factors – political, social, managerial, economic – of regional development. A substantial reserve for the optimization of municipal resources is also to be found in the very nature of municipal economics allowing elements of corporate economy.
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