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Since 2004 I have worked as a science employee at the Centre for Sociology and Psychology of Politics of the Institute of Political Science at the Faculty of Journalism and Political Science of Warsaw University. Currently I am an adjunct lecturer and researcher. In 2006 – 2008 I worked in the capacity of lecturer at the Alcide De Gasperi University of Euroregional Economy in Józefów.
I invite to read my publications, especially: Empowerment of the local government in the period of the system transformation in Poland, Dom Wydawniczy Elipsa, Warsaw 2015.
The publication is a summary of my research on defining the organizational difficulties associated with the formation of the structures of territorial self-government in Poland after 1989. I have described these issues from a dynamic perspective and in relation to the processes of formation and functioning of local government and Polish local communities in the transition period.
The publication is based on the long-standing theoretical and empirical research. What was essential for writing this publication on the empirical level was my participant observation during my activities in local government structures since 1998 as a member of the commune office council, commune board member (deputy mayor), member of the county council (Vice Chairman of the council), member of various expertise committees, clerk, editor-in-chief of a Polish national self-government monthly, journalist, and a columnist writing for local press. I should also mention that my observations and experience partly relate to the functioning of state government administration in relation to local governments, which I was able to analyse due to the fact that I was an adviser and the head of the political office of the Minister of Health
My scientific experiences as well as aspects related to the observations carried out during my social activities are present at the different levels of the monograph, rendering it a socio-political study of theoretical and empirical nature. In many ways, the form of the publication is similar to the way territorial self-government issues are discussed by Jerzy Regulski. In order to accurately define and disclose my own perception of local government, in the book I describe myself as a person who has been, for many years now, socially, politically and emotionally involved in initiatives aimed at strengthening local governments in order to implement the demands of the so-called localism ideology. It seems that it is an advantage of the undertaken project, if only because of the fact that intentional participation (exclusively aimed at conducting scientific research) in the role of a council member or board member, without any personal social involvement and knowledge about the competing entities, would have been difficult (if not impossible).
Among a number of reasons justifying the need to write the said monograph, the following seem to be particularly crucial:
- There is a shortage of scientific studies discussing the difficulties and mistakes in the process of local government formation during the transition period in Poland;
- There are too few multidimensional publications whose authors deal with not only the scientific but also practical aspects of the matter due to their own experiences and insights on how the system works from the inside;
- I see a deficit of publications focused on helping eliminate systemic difficulties which contain a deeper reflection upon the place of local government in the organization of the state and propose reforms or system improvements;
- There are relatively not enough monographs which would inspire in a useful way the scientific milieu as well as, broadly speaking, the organizers of the Polish local government themselves, including politicians, officials at various levels of territorial self-government, clerks, and social activists involved in different forms of participation associated with initiatives at the local level;
- It seems necessary to have a scientific publication which also uses and clarifies affordable and even journalistic formulations and opinions, and that is present in certain fragments of this monograph. This stems from the assumption that scientific language should not be absolutely and in each case hermetic in nature;
- There are not many monographs where the author expresses his opinions in order to reveal (in parallel with subdued and aloof research conclusions) his real, unconcealed commitment to the issues in question and a genuine passion of a person knowingly participating in the activities of territorial self-government. It is worth emphasizing the scientific value of such a multi-dimensional approach in which the author is both a researcher and a research object and an external and internal observer at the same time, aware of the diversity of his roles and a variety of perspectives depending on the adopted point of view;
- It also appears necessary to have a publication containing a kind of research provocation regarding the “undisputed” achievements of the transformation period. The form of this publication is intended to be the opposite of indifferent, somewhat controversial, and perhaps for some readers even annoying and evoking a confrontational response;
- In addition, this monograph can be useful in drawing the attention of the scientific community, local government officials, and politicians to the dynamics of changes in the functions and significance of local government.
In the monograph, I present local government as one of the changing elements of society and its culture. My research did not omit the fact that the societal expectations as well as people’s notions of the role of the state, the depth of decentralization, and the scope of subsidiarity change over time because of the ever-changing societal needs, new forms of communication, and new forms of economic activity.
The aim of the monograph is to identify obstacles to the formation of the empowerment of local government in Poland. It involves determining the importance of local social potential as well as assessing the quality of the way territorial communities function in contemporary Poland from the point of view of the institutionalization of democracy and decentralization.
Achieving the research objective is accompanied by the desire to indicate the directions and trends in system transformations and the potential decentralization of public administration as well as to highlight the problem of political influence that the state’s decision-making centre has on shaping the role of communes (gminas) and counties (powiats) and on changing the meaning of local communities.
My decision to discuss this particular topic stemmed from the intention to characterize the signs of inconsistency of the decentralization process which began after 1989 in Poland and to identify key organizational problems in the formation of territorial self-government communities. This venture was accompanied by two things: the intention to present examples of unfavourable conditions resulting from the course of the system transformation, and the reflection upon whether it was possible to stop the socially undesirable phenomena in the area of territorial self-government without affecting the substance of community, grassroots self-organization, and decentralization. The aim was therefore to define a variety of systemic conditions most strongly contributing to the destabilization of local self-governance.
In the monograph, I have formulated two main hypotheses:
- The system transformation in Poland resulted in the establishment of the actual local government, which is empowered within the organization of the state and can independently meet the collective needs of citizens. In particular, local government is a socially legitimized entity respected by state authorities and successfully established by legal regulations (as well as by other social and organizational initiatives in the country); it is a partner for government administration, it operates in accordance with democratic standards, it is consolidated organizationally and supported by broad social participation.
- The system transformation in Poland resulted in the formal establishment of local government, which, however, has no empowerment within the organization of the state and is irrelevant in meeting the collective needs of citizens. In particular, neither legal regulations nor organisational initiatives have managed to successfully create an empowered and reliable local self-governed community, and those communities that actually exist are closed and insular, with goals that do not contribute to the development of a democratic and modern local government; moreover, there is no partnership between government administration and local government administration, and the former uses the latter for its own ends, depending on the current policy at the national level.
The objective of this monograph is to show a dynamically changing local government as an organization of contemporary Polish communities inhabiting certain areas, and not as the community as such, with all the baggage of associated research and anthropological issues. However, I included the importance of the discussion on whether an authentic community described by anthropologists has ever existed and compared it with the original Zygmunt Bauman’s belief contesting this view which is quoted in the monograph. The questions posed in the book about the meaning of creating a community in Poland through legal instruments are primarily semantic doubts. This includes e.g. the deliberations on the legitimacy of using the concept of a union or an association rather than the concept of community.
In this publication, I do not describe all three tiers of territorial self-government (commune, county, and province) equally. I focus my research mainly on local government, i.e. at the commune level and, to a lesser extent, at the county level. As it goes beyond the local scope, the regional level of 16 self-government provinces is not the primary focus of my analysis, although in many fragments it is referred to in the background of the research.
With regard to the research hypotheses, I formulated the questions from two perspectives: quantitative and qualitative. Verifying the issue quantitatively involved answering the following questions:
- Were self-governed communities actually established after 1989?
- How significant is this phenomenon, and are there such communities in Poland?
- What steps do central state organs and politicians take in the context of the empowerment or disempowerment of local government?
On the other hand, verifying the issue in question qualitatively is guided by the following questions:
- What is the impact of the new ideas related to the empowerment of local communities?
- Is the existence of self-governed communities beneficial from the point of view of creating a democratic state?
- Is the current involvement of citizens and local government activists in the life of the commune in line with the original objectives of the legislators?
- Is the existence of local government useful from the point of view of the elimination of deviant forms of civic participation as well as for management and administration processes?
- Is local government exploited and treated as part of the political game
dominated by the central-level politics?
I also pose several questions fundamental for the presented dissertation:
- Have the new Polish local authorities and new representatives in fact been the exponents of the territorial community’s will from the very beginning?
- Did such a community exist at all at the time of introducing the local government reform?
- Have the formal and legal changes which, in a way, “imposed” the formation of communities in fact shaped such communities?
I examine the Polish experience in this area in the context of a sociological way of understanding the community compared with the tendencies towards formally imposing the formation and top-down organization of communities using legal instruments. I also emphasize the problem of bottom-up anti-system initiatives, which may be in contradiction with the modern legal order and transparent participation based on responsibility and respect for democratic standards.
The monograph discusses the aspects of transformation particularly in a negative light. However, I make it clear that there are many positive and thriving initiatives and examples of the democratic participation of citizens. Nevertheless, the main concern of this study is to analyse the organizational problems impeding the institutionalization of local government and to examine whether such problems are solved in a way which strengthens or depreciates the empowered role of local government.
The structure of the presented dissertation is a reflection of the systematically implemented research plan and its research methods. The publication consists of three parts divided into chapters.
The first part is mainly theoretical and historical and constitutes an introduction to the qualitative empirical research with territorial self-government officials as participants.
In the first chapter, I present the theoretical problems which are a starting point for further discussion and describe the historical determinants of the process of local government formation in Poland. In this chapter, I also focus on the cultural aspect as well as on the theoretical outline of the potential definitional direction in the way we understand the empowered role of local government, where I point to the grounds for presenting this issue as a process in a dynamic system.
The second chapter discusses the semantic problems and ways of understanding local government in the context of contemporary Polish organizational determinants. I introduce the tenets of localism and ways of understanding it, the issue of locality in the context of e.g. globalization, as well as the issue of understanding the empowerment in relation to territorial self-government. I mentioned such issues as the decentralization and devolution of the state, attributes of sovereignty, and the directions of empowerment and disempowerment in the system of relationships between state and local authorities, administration, and citizens. I also scrutinize the problem of building local democracy in the context of difficulties in the formation of civil society as well as in the context of organizational structure and the resulting impediments and facilitations.
The third chapter addresses the problem of the existence of “natural” local community, commune solidarity, and commune freedoms in the confrontation with the objectives of the state. It is about the attempts aimed at unification and about the issue of provincial, “insular” community. I describe the features of local government in the Polish legal and organizational order and the problem of creating a community “under the law” compared with the sociological perspective on the community. I point out the problem of the illusory existence of a community in the minds of decision-makers and social environment. I conduct a comparative analysis of how in various regions of Poland the names of the electoral committees from the local government elections of 2010 used terms referring to a sense of community, the “we-ness” (territorial familiarity), as well as to the names built on the name of a local leader.
In the fourth chapter, I present aspects related to the building of community identification at the local level. I mention the issue of local social potential, its quality, social trust, and cooperation. I also describe the functioning of representative democracy and procedural democracy in comparison with the demands of deliberative, participatory democracy. The considerations contained in this chapter are focused on the substantial aspects of democracy. In particular, this involves the pathology of power, informal arrangements, cliques, and a lack of commitment to democratic standards, values, and ideals. Additionally, there is a controversial issue of self-government initiatives aimed at increasing the participation as well as the issue of fictitious participation.
In the fifth chapter, I describe the results of the research called Territorial self-government during the period of political transformation in Poland. Innovations in the functioning of a community and social bonds at the local level, conducted by me in 2010 with the participation of local government officials. I provide the description of the local government officials who partook in individual in-depth interviews, including the main characteristics of the respondents, their experiences, assessment of their own situation, political identification, and in particular their relationship to political divisions at the local government level, which is one of the crucial aspects covered in the study.
The second part of the monograph includes a reflection upon the inconsistencies of the Polish local government reform and describes the problems of decentralization and attempts to disempower local governments due to the tendencies towards recentralization and top-down “organization.” In this part, I provide my own observations resulting from many years of experience as a territorial self-government official who participated in the reformed organizational system during the transition period.
In the first chapter of part two, I provide a specific case of the political reform of the capital city of Warsaw from 2002 as an example of an inconsistency in the system transformation, presenting actions which were only seemingly aimed at “improvement” and recentralization. Warsaw is described here as a sort of field for political experiments which lead to the top-down eradication of the independence of particular components (independent communes) which were empowered earlier.
The next chapter scrutinizes factors which justify the systemic adjustment of how local governments function. I present spectacular examples of attempts to dismiss commune heads and mayors in referendums in the context of the potentially deviant activities of the officials themselves on the one hand and, on the other hand, in the context of the problem of the quality of the social environment. I enumerate the negative consequences of politically strengthening the position of the executive body in a commune. I discuss not only the examples of the adverse empowerment of the individual himself (commune head or mayor), which may lead to the systemic empowerment of a commune, but also deviant empowerment of the elements of social environment, e.g. local interest groups. Furthermore, I outline the problem of bureaucratic pathologies, excessive headcount in local government units, and the alienation of power.
The last chapter of the second part of the monograph takes a broad perspective on the trends of the system changes introduced after 2000 (aimed at counteracting organizational pathologies at the level of territorial self-government) such as reducing the number of council members, cutting the amount of allowances, establishing a one-man executive body at the commune level, and at the same time weakening the position of commune councils. In this chapter, I also analyse the statements of the local government officials from the research of 2010 (described in part one) in terms of their opinions on the elections and the role of socially desirable values, as well as their perception of what the duties of a good local government are. What is also an interesting context of analysis is a comparative reference made by the interviewed local government employees to western European standards compared with the Polish reality. Moreover, I investigate their statements about the organization of work in a local government unit in connection with the desired features of a leader, who is also expected to be a local authority.
In the last – third – part of the monograph, an attempt is made to specify the key determinants of the way a local government and its associated local community function. It is connected with the intention to identify the factors resulting from the system transformation itself as well as the factors stemming from other phenomena such as civilization changes or conditions associated with the political game.
Chapter one of part three shows examples of discrepancies between the strategic objectives formulated at the national level and the needs and circumstances of different communities. I stress the problems of the Polish rural areas and the specific nature of small communes, whose sense of community often stands in opposition to the state-oriented actions. I also focus on the issue of how state authorities exploit the compensatory mechanism of the so-called Janosikowe (along with outlining the initiatives undertaken as a grassroots reaction) in the context of disempowering local governments. On the other hand, I mention the problem of how certain top-down restrictions inhibit the stimulation of social capital at the local government level, which stems from the general legal regulations and internal barriers as well as from the paternalist and clientelistic arrangements produced at the organizational level of local government units. One of the most important research findings in this chapter relates to the propaganda aspect of introducing the programme called “Moje Boisko – Orlik 2012” (“My Sports Field – Orlik 2012”), used by the government merely as a tool. The chapter contains a detailed discussion of the results of the research which I conducted in January 2013, yielding responses from 1,776 communes on the detailed costs of their sports investments. These results indicate a significant financial burden imposed on local governments, with a disproportionately low involvement of the state government, which was possible due to the specific nature of our tax system. I also elaborate on the problem of building the local roads called schetynówkas (under the National Programme for the Reconstruction of Local Roads 2008-2011) in the context of e.g. the potential politicization of local government participation in the programme.
The next chapter deals with the problem of achieving the objectives of territorial self-government in the context of attempts at political disempowerment. Based on the in-depth interviews with the local government officials, I raise the issue of understanding why this entity exists. The opinions of council members and the representatives of executive authorities on this issue helped me to verify the hypothesis on the localistic perception of the local government objectives in the researched environment. On the other hand, this chapter clearly details the controversial elements of my participatory observation during the public function I formerly performed, as well as the political and legal consequences of the undertaken activities. This perspective presents the researched territorial self-government (the capital city of Warsaw, the former commune of Warszawa-Targówek, and public officials) as a mere tool in the political “game.” I attempt to outline the periodic reorganizational trends, including the recentralistic ones, in the process of system transformation from the point of view of local government empowerment and disempowerment. In order to demonstrate the problem of the top-down exploitation of self-government, this chapter also contains several interviews with ministers conducted by me while I worked as the editor-in-chief of the monthly entitled Przegląd Samorządowy. Monitor Zamówień Publicznych.
In the third chapter, I present the factors contributing to the formation of local government which result from destabilization associated with the transformation of the system. I point out the problem of forming a civil society in the context of the impact of the Roman Catholic Church, which seems to be a potentially important “player” in the system. What is more, I analyse the opinions on the influence of the Church on local government provided by the research respondents. I conduct a critical analysis of the role of legislation in the formation of self-government from the perspective of hopes, ideas, and illusions of the system reformers after 1989. I also deliberate the function of the mass media and their transformative role in how local government changes and how it is perceived.
In the last chapter, I conduct an analysis of the impact of the system transformation, referring also to the changes taking place within small, traditional, and seemingly joint local communities. Therefore, by way of example, I quote appropriate conclusions from the empirical studies relating to the anthropological and sociological context. I then focus on the issues raised during the in-depth interviews with the local government employees in 2010 in the context of their statements about threats to their own local community as well as their assessment of how human relationships have formed in their towns since the beginning of the system transformation. The aim of analysing these statements is to determine whether during the post-1989 transition period we can observe the disintegration of local communities or maybe the emergence of a new identification associated with the so-called ideology of localism, which might reinforce the systemic, empowered role of local government.
The appendix to the book contains the analyses and conclusions of the research on the role of territorial self-government in meeting the collective needs of inhabitants. I present the issues which are not dealt with in the mainstream of this study but were raised during the in-depth interviews of 2010. I also discuss the conclusions of the research I led in October 2006: 2005 Elections – researching the mutual expectations of voters and local governments. The Report prepared by the INDICATOR Marketing Research Center in cooperation with the Polish Press Agency. I analyse such factors as the level of respondents’ satisfaction with the activities of their local government at the level of a commune, county, and province, their evaluation of the direct election of commune heads and mayors, and their opinions on the problem areas in which local government (and local government officials) is involved in order to met the collective needs.
Due to the specific nature of the topics covered, I have placed this study within the hermeneutical paradigm, and to some extent within the postmodern and eclectic approach. This was accompanied by the reflection upon what, in a given historical moment, is meant by the empowerment of local government, which was predominantly based on the qualitative research. The research problem concerns the functional relationships in the context of satisfying genuine collective needs, and even satisfying what derives merely from believing in the existence of social needs. This approach has largely allowed me to take into account many issues discussed here in the light of the neoinstitutional method. The comprehensive nature of the neoinstitutional method makes it possible to operate on the three levels, or layers, described by Andrzej Antoszewski, to which this book corresponds by the division into three parts. The first one emphasizes the socio-cultural aspect, traditional and historical determinants, as well as the problem of the functioning of the community and building a civil society. It is also an area associated with the political culture, analysed more from the point of view of history and political sociology. The second layer focuses on the issue of constructing a new political system after 1989 and the major political changes relating to local government during the transition period. I point out the legal and organizational components generating conflicts and tension and the destabilization of local government activities stemming from the implementation of further reforms. Changes in the institutional system are discussed here in many contexts, including the context of the activities of organized political actors. The third layer is about the broadly defined political “game” and rivalry as well as the planes of cooperation between the political decision-making centre, which creates various initiatives and organizational changes, and local governments, which seek to play an independent role. At this point, I attempt to show the processes of strengthening the role of central centres of power, and how local government is being disempowered through the use of the instruments of political engineering aimed at optimizing the political order anew.
The monograph is based largely on a sociological perspective, complemented and expanded with a political viewpoint. In my opinion, the integral approach adopted in the book made it possible to avoid the problematic inapplicability resulting from the specialization and from a certain kind of fragmentation of the current social sciences. The holistic approach created an opportunity to capture certain functional relationships when applying different research methods and techniques, while maintaining the comparability of results. The dynamic examination of the problem related to the process of local government empowerment, which requires studying changes over time, made it necessary to include political, economic, cultural, demographic, geographical, and even technical and psychological factors. As part of this research, I analysed the field research sources such as individual interviews with the local government officials, survey results, descriptions of decision-making processes, situations, and events in which I personally participated, as well as the existing data such as documents, legal acts, press releases, comments, press interviews, columns, reports, public speeches, and judicial decisions. The study is largely based on the qualitative analysis as well as the quantitative analysis of my desk research. In the publication, I specifically used the analysis of individual in-depth interviews conducted with sixteen Polish local government officials within my own research project entitled Local government during the period of political transformation in Poland. Innovations in the functioning of a community and social bonds at the local level (October/November 2010).
To a large extent, my research also entails the examination of documents, the obtained official information, and responses received from the various local government units. When scrutinizing local government actions, one of the elements was using the articles from the local press as well as columns illustrating the commitment of public officials and citizens – sources which are rarely explored in scientific publications.
The scientific achievements of the study include the following:
- broad and multi-faceted systematization of knowledge about the social and political factors of the process of local government empowerment;
- outlining the conceptualization and operationalization of the empowerment in order to study the quality of local government;
- identification and exemplification of the grounds for the beliefs associated with the process of local government formation and transformation during the transition period in Poland;
- analysing the causes and effects of the inconsistencies of the systemic changes in the process of building local government;
- socio-political diagnosis of the condition of the local community, which is supposed to support local government;
- development of suggestions aimed at strengthening representative democracy and the legislative organs of local government as an alternative to the demands of the so-called participatory democracy.
From the point of view of the considerations included in the monograph, the quality of Polish local government is a crucial issue. This is directly associated with the problem of empowerment in the context of formalization and institutionalization. The research effort was to determine whether local government in Poland is becoming more and more consolidated and popular and whether it fits in a social life, or whether it is merely a formal creation – new, artificial, and burdensome from the point of view of the efficiency of both state authorities and local communities.
In the context of the hypotheses put forward in the book, the conducted research brings us closer to the conclusion that the systemic transformation in Poland led to the formal establishment of local government, which, however, has no empowerment within the organization of the state and is largely irrelevant in meeting the collective needs of citizens. In particular, numerous examples quoted in the study demonstrate that neither legal regulations nor other organisational initiatives have managed to successfully create an empowered and reliable local self-governed community. In various contexts of functioning, the communities that actually exist may be closed and insular, with goals that do not contribute to the development of a democratic and modern local government. Moreover, there is no partnership between government administration and local government administration.
My research and analyses, including the analysis of my personal long-standing experience as a public official, have led to certain conclusions and recommendations. Despite various adverse systemic and cultural conditions, there is no clear need to limit local representative democracy. This applies to the problem of reducing the systemic role of council members in order to strengthen the one-person executive organs, as well as to the issue of giving various social organizations and informal activists a special status in the decision-making process in the name of implementing ideologically justified demands of participatory democracy. Empowerment of territorial self-government involves a strong democratic mandate for local public officials, who have a formal right to speak out on behalf of the community. Council members still have a real democratic legitimacy derived from free elections. Rather than reducing their headcount in communes, justifying it with budget savings and marginalizing their social significance, it is worth considering the extension of the scope of representation, while taking measures to improve its quality and to popularize this method of activity.
The said monograph leads to an important and reasonably anticipated conclusion that the process of local government empowerment in Poland after 1989 is most fully expressed in promoting the localistic idea of self-governance and disseminating the belief about the need for decentralization. However, what remains an open question is whether popularizing the idea of local self-governance contributes to the genuine empowerment, or maybe it is the product of the existing local empowerment.
In the light of the conclusions derived from the analyses contained in the present study, empowerment of local government in Poland does not appear to be a fixed social, political, legal, and economic fact. It seems more reasonable to talk about empowerment in the context of the ongoing process of system transformation, which is characterized by varying degrees of implementation, the ambiguity of trends, and the inconsistency of actions of the participants in this process.
My other scientific and research accomplishments:
My research also focuses on the issues of systemic transformation in Poland (not only in the context of local government), the role of the individual in politics, and the theoretical and methodological problems in research on politics. My research revolves around three areas:
- Determinants of the individual’s freedom of action in politics
- Philosophical, theoretical, and methodological aspects of understanding politics
- Negative and positive innovation of the system transformation in Poland
Determinants of the individual’s freedom of action in politics – this is one of the earliest directions in my political science research where I analyse the role of the individual in politics, with particular emphasis on limiting politicians’ freedom of action, agency, and empowerment. The monograph (Swoboda działania polityka, Warsaw 2006) includes a multi-faceted approach to the problem in theoretical and empirical dimension. I introduce a model approach to a politician’s freedom of action, which covers his socially, culturally, personally, objectively, and historically judicious, rational, and informed activities, where he is aware of the consequences. This approach is juxtaposed with the viewpoint about actions which are not always consciously planned (with the so-called accidental circumstances) but paradoxically consistent with the objective forces (real processes which are important but invisible at the moment of decision-making), which are impersonal, have a human, socio-cultural origin, and guarantee that the individual’s actions are successful. I make efforts to prove that, in the studies on defining the genuine role of the individual in politics, the second approach may be more relevant than the approach based solely on the so-called rational calculations. At the level of exemplification, the monograph refers to the questionnaire interviews I conducted on a representative sample of 1,200 adult residents of Poland, thanks to which I have managed to established that the most commonly cited factors limiting the politician’s freedom of action include various vague and implicit informal arrangements. In relation to the different research planes, I discuss my analyses also in scientific articles. I describe the issue of agency in the context of the specific way of how local government functions, at the same time identifying significant multi-dimensional limitations imposed on public officials’ actions (.
Philosophical, theoretical, and methodological aspects of understanding politics (Wybitność i niezależność w ujęciu deterministycznym, in: J. Błuszkowski, J. Zaleśny (ed.), Rozumienia polityki, Rola deskrypcji w wiarygodnym wyjaśnianiu zjawisk społeczno-politycznych, in: J. Błuszkowski, J. Zaleśny (eds.), Wyjaśnianie polityki,
Negative and positive innovation of the system transformation in Poland –(, , Samorządowa wspólnota terytorialna - innowacja negatywna transformacji ustrojowej w Polsce in: S. Sulowski (ed.), Polityka na szczeblu samorządu terytorialnego,
There are not many examples indicating the existence of the local community in the behavioural dimension which would manifest itself through the so-called civil society, with clearly visible patterns of participatory democracy.
- In Poland, it is still difficult to experience communities which are organized in a way that allows for a high rate of citizen participation in the process of deciding on local issues and for the explicitly valuable social capital, consolidated on the basis of mutual trust and readiness to provide selfless work for the fellow citizens.
- Legitimisation of the political system and power at the local government level seems to be not so much a fixed fact than the process of varying degrees of implementation, and its important cement and foundation is an ideologically reinforced belief that the local community knows best how to organize public life in their area.
Furthermore, I should add that my scientific interests in the issues of local government in the context of the system transformation are reflected also in the broadly defined journalistic activities. I am the author of more than a hundred publications (articles, columns, interviews) in the trade magazines, local government press, and local newspapers.