The impact of the central government’s intervention on local democracy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Does the central government’s intervention in the operation of failed local authorities affect the functioning of local democracy? We examined the theoretical and practical factors associated with the opportunities and risks inherent in an intervention policy in Israel called convened committees. We developed an index called the Effective Number of Council Parties by Seats at the Municipal Level (ENCPSML) and a number of measures that together express the degree of democratic representation, governability and voter turnout. We compare the functioning of democracy before and after the convened committees in 31 local authorities and a control group of 191 local authorities during four elections in 2003-2018. Contrary to what one might expect, convened committees did not hurt the exercise of democracy and in some cases, improved it. We discuss the practical and theoretical implications of these findings in the context of multi-level governance, local democracy, regulation and coping with local crises.

Original languageEnglish
JournalLocal Government Studies
StateAccepted/In press - 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.


  • Central government’s intervention
  • convened committees
  • democratic deficit
  • effective number of council parties at the local level (ENCPSML)
  • governability
  • local crisis
  • representation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Development
  • Sociology and Political Science


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