Does Local Democracy Perform Better in Smaller Jurisdictions? Survey Evidence from Poland


  • Adam Gendzwill University of Warsaw, Faculty of Geography and Regional Studies, Department of Local Development and Policy, ul. Krakowskie Przedmiescie 3000-927 Warszawa
  • Pawel Swianiewicz University of Warsaw, Faculty of Geography and Regional Studies, Department of Local Development and Policy, ul. Krakowskie Przedmiescie 30-00-927 Warszawa



local democracy, local government, jurisdiction size


The article investigates the relationship between the size of municipality and the functioning of local democracy in Poland. It discusses advantages and disadvantages of scale observable in local democratic institutions, and citizens’ political attitudes and behaviour. The empirical evidence is based on a survey of citizens conducted in 2015. A set of multi-level regression models is presented in order to account for individual- and municipality-level effects. The results generally support the argument that local democracy performs better in smaller municipalities. The negative effects of scale are visible in the case of political interest, citizens’ efficacy, and civic engagement, but no relation between size and local attachment was found in Poland.

Author Biographies

  • Assistant Professor
  • Professor


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