The Salience of Local Urban Development in the Political Party Arena: A Longitudinal Analysis of Slovenian Parliamentary Party Programmes

  • Matjaž Uršič University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Social Sciences, Kardeljeva ploščad 5, 1000 Ljubljana
  • Alem Maksuti University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Social Sciences, Kardeljeva ploščad 5, 1000 Ljubljana
  • Tomaž Deželan University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Social Sciences, Kardeljeva ploščad 5, 1000 Ljubljana
Keywords: local urban development, development planning, Slovenia, municipalities, political parties, party programmes


Local urban development is not determined by a collection of non-political and essentially technical measures prepared by professionals and civil servants in municipalities, but in fact strongly depends on the political nature of policy decisions and organised local interests. The planning of local urban development is, therefore, significantly influenced by political decisions based on the promises set out by political parties in their programmes. Thus, the direction of local development and the dynamics of urban growth cannot be fully understood without a thorough understanding of the views presented in party programmes. This paper aims to map the differences in Slovenian parliamentary party preferences related to local urban development across the political spectrum as well as over time (from 1990 to 2014). By implementing computer-assisted content analysis of 96 party programmes and election manifestos conventionally recognised as thematic text analysis, we identified an alarming image of the political landscape of Slovenia concerning topics related to local urban development. The analysis revealed that the majority of parties utilise local urban development concepts on a declarative level, with most dimensions of sustainable urban development being virtually absent.

Author Biographies

Matjaž Uršič, University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Social Sciences, Kardeljeva ploščad 5, 1000 Ljubljana
Assistant Professor
Alem Maksuti, University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Social Sciences, Kardeljeva ploščad 5, 1000 Ljubljana
PhD Candidate
Tomaž Deželan, University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Social Sciences, Kardeljeva ploščad 5, 1000 Ljubljana
Associate Professor


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