National Minorities' Inclusion and Representation Problems in Local Government Policy-Making in Latvia: A Case Study of Riga Municipality

Sigita Struberga, Aleksandra Kjakste

Abstract


The goal of the paper is to analyze efficiency of cooperation of urban municipalities with the Russian- speaking community in terms of attempts to ensure its inclusion and representation in Local policy-making processes in Latvia. The theoretical aspects of public participation in policy-making with a focus on efficiency measurement, based on two general criteria- fairness and competence- are used when developing the theoretical framework. The empirical part is build based on a case study of Riga municipality. The authors have concluded that the results of analysis demonstrate progress in areas of legislation and creation of formal framework for fostering inclusive social environment and public administration. However, there are several disadvantages, when the process of inclusion meets two general criteria of efficiency of public participation. Formal models of cooperation offered by local government do not provide environment that would result into creation of new competencies or values of general public or particular stakeholders. Thus, the discussed conditions affect the situation, where a full-fledged inclusion of Russian-speakers in the social and political life has not reached, but the participation of Russian-speakers in the policy-making process can be described as a form of collaboration where not all the relevant interest groups are included.

 


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Scandinavian Journal of Public Administration

School of Public Administration, Box 712 - SE-405 30 Göteborg

ISSN: 2001-7405, E-ISSN: 2001-7413