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This book helps to understand in which ways local governing elites are important for the success or failure of national democratic development. Although we know a great deal about the general importance of civil society and social capital for the development of sustainable democracy, we still know little about what specific local governing qualities or political capital that interact with democratic development. The collected data covers time series of surveys from between 15 to 30 political and administrative leaders in over a hundred middle-sized European and Eurasian cities. The study takes us across the 1980s and 1990s, going from cities in Sweden and the Netherlands - through the Baltic cities - to the cities of Belarus and Russia. The findings show the importance of local political capital based on commitments to core democratic values, informal governance networks, and the significance of initially connecting the community to global, non-economic relationships.
The Untouchables: Stability among the Swedish Local Elite - Toward Democratic Governance: The Lithuanian Local Elite - Estonian Local Elites a Decade after the Transition to Democracy - The Development of Democracy and Local Governance in Latvia - Local Governance in Belarus during the Regime of Authoritarian Democracy - Universal Change and the Conditions for Democratic Development - Political Capital and How it Grows