Local Leadership During the Territorial Amalgamation Process – The Case of Latvia

Keywords: local government, territorial amalgamation, local leadership, Latvia


Purpose: The article aims to present evidence of the role of the mayors in the territorial amalgamation process, focusing on their relationship with voters and other stakeholders and on the transformation processes experienced by local governments. Given their status as the highest-ranking officials enjoying voters’ and deputies’ support, mayors play an essential role in either implementing or, on the contrary, impeding local government reforms. As they have the power, knowledge, and expertise to influence the implementation of local government reforms, it becomes essential to evaluate their role.
Design: The article examines the role of mayors in local government reforms, particularly in the context of the recent territorial amalgamation reforms in Latvia. Through a literature review and analysis of results from the recent amalgamation, the article explores the complex relationships that mayors have with other stakeholders and the transformation processes within their respective local governments.
Findings: The study highlights the importance of mayors in providing effective leadership during reform initiatives and the potential implications for their reputation and electoral outcomes. The results show that mayors primarily use media, public consultations, public letters, and even the possibility of resignation to influence the territorial amalgamation process.
Academic contribution to the field: While there has been research on territorial amalgamation, the role of the mayor is often overlooked, especially in a top-down initiated process where, despite its features, the mayor still possesses the tools to shape the course of the territorial amalgamation process. The article presents the reform experience in Latvia as a small state.
Value: This research provides valuable insights into the role of mayors in the territorial amalgamation process in Latvia and its implications for local government reform. The findings contribute to the existing literature by comprehensively analysing the mayor’s influence on the reform agenda and implementation strategies.



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How to Cite
Stučka, M. (2023). Local Leadership During the Territorial Amalgamation Process – The Case of Latvia. Central European Public Administration Review, 21(1), 61-84. https://doi.org/10.17573/cepar.2023.1.03