Summer School 2011

"Rescaling Government: Reforming public administration and local government"

18 – 23 September 2011, Vouliagmeni, Greece

The 2011 Summer School in "Rescaling Government: Reforming public administration and local government", supported by EURA (European Urban Research Association) and EUROLOC was hosted and financially supported by the International Centre for Black Sea Studies (ICBSS), a related body of the Organisation of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation (BSEC) which serves as its acknowledged think-tank.

This year’s summer school took place from Sunday 18 until Friday 23 September 2011 on the coastal zone of Athens, Vouliagmeni.


During the previous decades, local government systems in Europe experienced several waves of reforms. Up to the mid-seventies, development of welfare systems went hand in hand with territorial and functional reforms of local government, especially in central and northern Europe. Since the late seventies, privatization and new public management were key issues of the reform agenda in northern Europe, while the new democracies of the South (Spain, Greece and Portugal) as well as France, initiated efforts to overcome the Napoleonic tradition and move towards decentralization. At the same time, deficits in democratic legitimacy and public acceptance became the focus of several participatory reforms throughout Europe. During the nineties, central and eastern European states in transition tried to catch up with western standards of local democracy, while they also emphasized on new public management and privatization. At the time being, new reform initiatives are on the run, under pressures stemming from Europeanization, Globalization and fiscal crisis.

It is obvious that experiences and lessons learned from several decades of reforms in all parts of Europe have to be systematized and evaluated. Further on, this framework for analysis of reform procedures and outcomes should be useful for ongoing and future reform options and dilemmas. The main goal of this summer school is to bring together several views and research findings from different parts of Europe, in order to promote efforts for achieving a “common sense” on reform evaluation and perspectives in European countries. For this reason, on the one hand teachers are expected to provide the analytical framework on evaluation of reform practices, while, on the other hand post-doctoral students will present their ongoing research. In this way, a fruitful exchange and critical test of different approaches, methods and results can be achieved.

The main topics of this Summer School were:

1a) Does “scale” matter for achieving effective governance? Territorial restructuring (P. Getimis/ N.-K. Hlepas)

1b) Do “institutions” matter? Local government systems and territorial reforms (P.Getimis/ N.-K. Hlepas)

2) Does “size” matter for local democracy? Accountability, effectiveness and legitimacy (H. Heinelt/ B. Denters)

3) How to measure the results of institutional reforms? Evaluation of institutional change and performance of newly established institutional settings (S. Kuhlmann)

4) How to explain administrative reforms? (B. Denters)


The 2011 Summer School aims at organizing specialized courses for Ph.D. students whose research topics are related to the field of public policies and local government. Given the latest institutional reforms that have been made in countries such as Denmark and Greece, this year’s Summer School gives emphasis on the evaluation of territorial and functional reforms and the methodology used for this purpose.

Apart from the scientific exchange among Ph.D. candidates and acknowledged teachers, the Summer School seeks to create linkages among the participants of different national and cultural backgrounds. For this purpose, the local organizers have planned an excursion to one of the most important archaeological sites of Attica, Cape Sounio.

Please find relevant information in the following link :


The local organizers have planned an interactive programme for on-going research and several workshops with constant guidance from the tutors. More specifically:

■ Tutors’ lectures will include two parts (lecture and discussion with the participants)
■ Supplementary literature, suggested readings and course syllabus concerning each topic will be distributed to the participants prior to the Summer School
■ Participants must prepare an extended abstract (1.200 words) of their Ph.D. research, which will be forwarded to the teachers by the end of July.
■ Concerning supervision of participant students, each teacher will be responsible for 5-6 persons (working group), whose Ph.D. research is closer to his topic. After the introducing plenary session (first day), a kick-off meeting of each group (teacher plus “her/his” students) will take place (90 minutes). Furthermore, a second working group meeting (final evaluation meeting) will take place during the last day of the summer school.
■ Students are going to present their own research on the afternoon session, following the relevant lecture of “their” teacher (20’ plus 10-15’ discussion on each presentation). All students will attend every lecture and all sessions and be able to take part in all discussions. One rapporteur in each working group will sum up the main methodological discussion points.
■ There will be a final plenary session (where one rapporteur from each working group will present the relevant conclusions) for the evaluation of the summer school.

The final programme of the 2011 Summer School is available in the relevant websites of EURA, EUROLOC and ICBSS.

How to get involved:

PhD students fluent in English are welcome to submit an abstract (350 words) of their on-going research and apply until 30 June 2011. Registration Fees for participants will be 250 Euros. Accommodation, breakfast and one meal per day will be offered by the organizers. Travel costs will be covered by the participants themselves. For more information on the application process please see the application form. All applicants should send their filled application form to the following e-mail address:

All practical information regarding the Summer School can be found on the websites of:


Speakers and Participants of the 2011 Summer School can now download the Evaluation Report and the Speakers & Participants Presentations after joining the ICBSS community!


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