The Quality of Local Self-Governance and the Political Participation of Non-governmental Organizations—Evidence from Silesia
Rafał Riedel 1  
,   Ryszard Skrzypiec 2  
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Opole University
Research Centre on Local Activity
Publication date: 2019-06-19
Polish Sociological Review 2019;206(2):141–156
The quality of local authorities performance is determined, among others, by the involvement of social actors in the policy-making process. Among them, it is the non-governmental organisations (NGOs) that play a significant role in local polities, politics and policies. This paper tests if and how the participation of NGOs makes a difference in the quality of local self-governance, based on the evidence from Silesia (2010–2014)—the most densely populated region in Poland. The results show that the NGOs’ involvement diversifies the outcomes in the quality of governance only in a modest way and extend. Consequently, the authors conclude that the politically engaged NGOs do not qualitatively bring much of an added value and rather play a role of proto-parties. Formally not being recognised as political parties, they perform many (if not most) roles that classical political parties deliver, including the recruitment of political elites, offering the political alternative, channelling the citizens’ preferences and participation in power-sharing.
“This text is a part of a reseach project entitled: “The ‘Missing Link’: Examining organized interests in post-communist policy making” (OrgIntCEE ), supported by DFG-NCN National Science Center Poland/Beethoven, no. 2016/23/G/HS5/01001.