Einführung: Strukturen der öffentlichen Verwaltung und Raumentwicklung – Allgemeine Zusammenhänge und Ansätze zu ihrer Erforschung im Überblick

Far-reaching measures of administrative restructuring are being often introduced in the face of demographic change and the financial diffculties of the municipalities and federal states. Only with larger entities, it is argued, will it in future be possible to provide high quality municipal services at a reasonable cost. The tendency to enlarge municipal entities fits with the overall picture of municipal reforms in Germany, which since 1945 have been dominated by measures associated with concentration and centralisation efforts. Territorial restructuring is, however, but one element of the entire spectrum of administrative reforms. Further elements of administrative (re)structuring are the reform of the portfolio of public tasks (critical review of public tasks), the transfer of responsibilities between the levels (functional reform), and a change in the specifications of financing regulations relevant to services assigned to the public sector (financing reform). This publication consists of the results of the working group “Administrative and Territorial Reforms” (AG VGR) of the state working groups Sachsen, Sachsen-Anhalt and Thüringen of the Akademie für Raumforschung und Landesplanung (ARL). A significant objective of the AG VGR was to shed more light on the spatially-related interactions of the effects of administrative reform measures, as there are few findings on the topic that are empirically well-founded and many questions remain unanswered.

01. January 2015

Authors Martin T. W. Rosenfeld

Also in this issue

The Efficiency of Municipal Service Provision: A Study on the Example of Saxony-Anhalt

Peter Haug Annette Illy Claus Michelsen

in: Gebiets- und Verwaltungsstrukturen im Umbruch: Beiträge zur Reformdiskussion aus Erfahrungen in Sachsen, Sachsen-Anhalt und Thüringen, No. 360, 2015

Abstract

Against the background of the latest reforms of municipal territories in Sachsen-Anhalt, this paper aims to empirically investigate for this federal state whether the former, very small scale structure of municipal administration could generally be termed “inefficient“. It is of particular importance to determine whether decentralised forms of administration, such as the administrative associations that have been dissolved, are characterised by an efficiency disadvantage in comparison to more strongly centralised standard-municipalities, and whether the former municipalities were too small in terms of their “operational size“. No justification for the creation of large municipal entities can be derived from the analysis conducted. Owing to the settlement structure and limited possible economies of scale, it is thus not only to be feared that territorially large municipalities in rural areas will fail to significantly improve cost efficiency in the provision of municipal services. Rather, it may also be the case that efficiency will actually decline, as such “giant municipalities“ are often attended by disincentive effects for citizens as well as for policy and administration (e.g. little civil society involvement arising from a lack of identification with the municipality, lack of control of political decision-makers, low levels of preference-justice in administrative action).

read publication

Municipal Size, Administrative Structure and Election Turnout: Consequences of Municipal Reform for the Legitimisation of Political Decision-making Processes

Martin T. W. Rosenfeld Claus Michelsen

in: Gebiets- und Verwaltungsstrukturen im Umbruch: Beiträge zur Reformdiskussion aus Erfahrungen in Sachsen, Sachsen-Anhalt und Thüringen, No. 360, 2015

Abstract

In the political debate voices are repeatedly heard calling for municipal territories to be enlarged and to dispense with internal administrative sub-divisions of the municipal entities, hence realising the model of the so-called unitary municipality and not that of the federally conceived municipalities. The “costs“ in terms of the economic disadvantages of this centralised model are usually only mentioned in passing, not least due to the problems of quantifying these costs. This paper attempts such a quantification for one aspect of the economic disadvantages of larger and more centralised municipal entities, namely their negative effects on election turnouts. The results of the empirical investigations show that the theoretical suppositions are confirmed, demonstrating that (1.) the choice of the organisational form of municipal administrative entity affects turnout, and (2.) the unitary municipality form leads to a significantly lower election turnout than that found in federally organised types of municipality.

read publication

Spatial Development in View of the Re-structuring of Public Administrations – What are the Implications of the Individual Contributions?

Martin T. W. Rosenfeld M. Gather

in: Gebiets- und Verwaltungsstrukturen im Umbruch: Beiträge zur Reformdiskussion aus Erfahrungen in Sachsen, Sachsen-Anhalt und Thüringen, No. 360, 2015

Abstract

It must be clear that any kind of appraisal drawn from the results of the individual papers can only be an interim one. Many of the issues raised in the pertinent field of investigation could only be touched upon without being sufficiently debated. In other cases the results of the papers show that further and more thorough investigations are urgently required. It may be stated that public administration structures are basically in a state of constant change, and must repeatedly be adapted to changing economic and social framework conditions. In terms of legal boundaries to territorial restructuring, it should be noted that the size of a municipality may not be permitted to obstruct either the political participation of citizens or the possibility of the municipal decision-makers being sufficiently well-informed. The overall picture furthermore suggests that reforms in the public sector sphere that are initiated by state actors (i.e. top down) are always extremely complicated affairs. The objective of the regional working group of the Academy of Spatial Research and Planning (ARL) for the states Sachsen, Sachsen-Anhalt and Thüringen was to highlight some of the most significant aspects of the process of municipal re-structuring and its effects on spatial development, considering these in the three states against the background of current discussions and reform measures.

read publication

Whom to contact

For Researchers

For Journalists

Mitglied der Leibniz-Gemeinschaft LogoTotal-Equality-LogoWeltoffen Logo