Going Local: Determinants of Institutional Changes of Local Government

Implications for Political Participation and Political Decision-Making in West European Democracies

The aim of the project was to examine the consequences of local government reforms. In addition, we asked what effects these institutional changes have on the policy output, on citizens’ degree of satisfaction with the political system, and on citizen’s degree of political participation. Furthermore, we aimed to analyse the impact of the partisan composition of local parliaments and governments on the policy-making process. The starting point of the project were the waves of local government reforms that have taken place in many West European countries over the past decades. These reforms changed both the administrative structures and the political institutions of local government. In addition, they set incentives for new patterns of political participation and for variation in the decision-making processes of political actors as well as in the outcomes of the political process across the local units of a political system.