Direct administration of failing local authorities: Democratic deficit or effective bureaucracy?

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The recent economic slowdown has revealed major weaknesses in existing fiscal arrangements in local authorities, resulting in the introduction of stronger enforcement mechanisms in a number of OECD countries. This article describes an extreme intervention approach-the neutralization of the elected local leadership and its replacement with a convened committee (CC), in Israeli local authorities. The performance of local authorities headed by CCs was significantly improved with only a temporary loss of democracy. The Israeli approach could be an option for countries dealing with failing local administrations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)137-144
Number of pages8
JournalPublic Money and Management
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2013

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The author would like to thank the Division of Local Government Administration and the Mifamin Unit at the Ministry of the Interior of Israel which funded this research.


  • Democratic deficit
  • direct administration
  • fiscal discipline
  • local government
  • organizational failure

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Business, Management and Accounting
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Public Administration


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