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Title: Powerful or powerless regions? : regional policy-making in Poland and the Czech Republic in the light of the EU accession
Author: Komorowska, Kinga Agata
Awarding Body: University of Glasgow
Current Institution: University of Glasgow
Date of Award: 2012
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This thesis is about the power of the regional policy actors in two European Union countries: Poland and the Czech Republic. Aiming to answer the question of whether their regions are powerful enough to decide on the directions of their development, this thesis describes power struggles between regional policy actors at European, national and sub-national levels. A particular analytical approach is developed which takes into account the following aspects of power: legal credentials, social capital, financial potential, decision-making ability, executive capacity and political potential. Therefore, the thesis is a major contribution to the reduction of the knowledge gap in multi-level governance (MLG) theory in terms understanding of the domestic factors influencing regional engagement in EU policy-making. Moreover, in the light of the opinions that only together with other theoretical approaches may MLG offer meaningful explanations, the author places the deliberation about MLG within the framework of power, offering an innovative and coherent approach to MLG analysis. This thesis aims to answer three major questions: Are the regions in a position to drive their own development and do they have enough power to do so? How has their power to influence regional development been changing for the last few years? If the regions are powerless, who is leading the process? The Polish and Czech regions had no power in the period 2002-2006. In comparison, the 2007-2013 period has seen a major capacity enhancement; both political and decision-making power allow the Polish and Czech regions to be serious players in the domestic arena. The only major difference between Poland and the CR is the level of executive power, which has been significantly reduced in the latter country by the Cohesion Regions. Nevertheless, the governments act as gatekeepers, trying to secure their power. The EC offers major developmental resources but also encourages the regions to adjust to pre-selected objectives in order to maximise the use of financial assistance. The regions still do not have full discretion to drive their development; the EC conditionality is vast in the CEE and its impact is proportional to the EC’s unprecedented financial power. The idea that guided the methodological design was to present the regional policy-making process from different angles. The best way to achieve this was to run a quantitative Delphi Panel, supplement its findings by qualitative semi-structured interviews, and cross-check the conclusion with information available in the literature.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: JA Political science (General) ; JZ International relations