Direct Mayoral Elections in Slovenia and England: Traditions and Trends Compared

  • Simona Kukovič University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Social Sciences, Kardeljeva ploščad 5, 1000 Ljubljana
  • Colin Copus De Montfort University Leicester, Department of Politics & Public Policy, The Gateway, De Montfort University, Leicester LE1 9BH
  • Miro Haček University of Ljubljana, Faculty for Social Sciences, Kardeljeva ploščad 5, 1000 Ljubljana
  • Alasdair Blair De Montfort University Leicester, Department of Politics & Public Policy, The Gateway, De Montfort University, Leicester LE1 9BH
Keywords: direct elections, local politics, mayor, partisanship, political parties, England, Slovenia

Abstract

Direct mayoral elections have in recent decades become an important and popular feature of many local governments across Europe. The direct election of the mayor enhances the accountability and transparency of local political leadership and gives voters the opportunity to gain important influence on local politics. This contrasts with councillors who choose the mayor in single-party private settings. This article provides a case study analysis of two directly elected mayors in contrasting political settings, namely England and Slovenia. Whereas England is regarded as the mother of all Parliaments, Slovenia’s democratic traditions are more recent. Yet nonetheless Slovenia displays all the features of a strong local democracy where an independent mayoral system operates within a nonpartisan political setting. By contrast, whereas England provides the longest-standing case of local democracy in Europe, directly elected mayors have only recently been introduced into the political system, the outcome of which has been mixed in terms of successfulness and acceptance by national political parties within municipalities.

Author Biographies

Simona Kukovič, University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Social Sciences, Kardeljeva ploščad 5, 1000 Ljubljana
Researcher
Colin Copus, De Montfort University Leicester, Department of Politics & Public Policy, The Gateway, De Montfort University, Leicester LE1 9BH
Professor
Miro Haček, University of Ljubljana, Faculty for Social Sciences, Kardeljeva ploščad 5, 1000 Ljubljana
Professor
Alasdair Blair, De Montfort University Leicester, Department of Politics & Public Policy, The Gateway, De Montfort University, Leicester LE1 9BH
Professor

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Published
2015-07-31
Section
Conference Paper