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Ethnic diversity and local governance quality

The case of Opole Province in Poland


Wojciech Opioła and Bartosz Czepil

The book is devoted to relations between the ethnic diversity and the quality of governance at the local level. Opolskie province in Poland is a case for explaining this interdependence. That is because of its history of multiculturalism and the present state of its ethnic diversity. The important feature of this region is, that nearly half of the communes is ethnically homogenous when the rest is ethnically diversified with a strong position of German and Silesian minorities. The preliminary assumption was, that the quality of governance would be higher in communes characterized by ethnic diversity. On the basis of the nested analysis method, authors conducted quantitative and qualitative analysis.  
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I Research methodology


The research problem of the study presented herein is the relation between the ethnic diversity of the Opolskie province and the quality of governance in particular communes of the region. The objective of the research project is a diagnosis of potential relations between this diversity and the quality of governance at the local level. The main research question to which the authors would like to provide an answer concerns the problem whether multi-ethnicity is a factor strengthening the quality of governance or rather a factor hindering the development of this aspect of the public sphere. To answer this question, it is necessary first to provide answers to several detailed questions: Is the level of the quality of governance in the Opolskie province communes with ethnic diversity different from that in ethnically homogeneous communes? How can diversity influence the quality of governance? What is the character of the relation and what are the social and political mechanisms through which the two aspects influence each other? Based on the above-mentioned questions, we want to present the following research hypotheses:

1. The quality of governance is higher in the Opolskie province communes with ethnic diversity in comparison to the quality of governance in the ethnically homogeneous communes.

2. The sense of identity of the minority in the Opolskie province (the German minority, citizens declaring their Silesian national identity) and their political interests are factors contributing to the higher quality of governance in the ethnically diversified communes.


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