The Czech Republic: Local Government in the Years after the Reform

Michal Illner

in The Oxford Handbook of Local and Regional Democracy in Europe

Published in print November 2010 | ISBN: 9780199562978
Published online January 2011 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Politics & International Relations

The Czech Republic: Local Government in the Years after the Reform

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From 1620 to 1918, the Czech Kingdom was under Austrian rule and later the Austro-Hungarian monarchy. As such, it shared some of the features of the constitutional system of the Austrian and Austro-Hungarian monarchy. During the second half of the nineteenth century, Czech political representation demanded federalization from the monarchy. The failure to fulfil Czech ambitions led to the alienation of Czech society. In 1918, after the First World War, the new Czechoslovakia was established on the ruins of the old monarchy. The country became a parliamentary democracy, and this promulgated a controversial notion of a ‘Czechoslovak nation’ which neglected to consider the ethnic diversity of the population and which caused inter-ethnic tensions. Communist ruling dominated the nation from 1948 to 1989; and in 1989, communist rule collapsed which allowed for reforms. This article discusses the Czech Republic and the reforms that followed after the eradication of communist rule. During the fourteen years after the collapse of the communist regime, democratizing and decentralizing reforms were introduced. These series of reforms introduced a new system of subnational government on the municipal and local levels. The main aims of the reform were fulfilled in 2003, and since then, the new system has been settling down. Problems and challenges have been emerging but none of them necessitated a fundamental revision of the system.

Keywords: Czechoslovakia; parliamentary democracy; Czech Republic; reforms; government; democratizing reforms; decentralizing reforms

Article.  8636 words. 

Subjects: Politics ; Regional Political Studies ; Comparative Politics

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