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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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V. Qualitative analysis. Case studies of selected communes


In accordance with the adopted method of nested analysis, the statistical analysis was a stage that was to be first of all a source of knowledge about which units should be chosen for an in-depth qualitative analysis. From the quantitative analysis, we already know that there is no positive correlation between ethnic diversity and governance quality, with the exception of a clear connection between ethnic diversity and the participation dimension of good governance. However, we would like to examine more thoroughly the meaning of multiculturalism in the context of governance quality because the quantitative analysis showed that the multi-ethnic communities were characterized by greater diversity in this respect, which still entitles us to ask about the role of multiculturalism. We can assume that there are multicultural communes where this factor has some, positive or negative, influence on the quality of governance, and simultaneously there are communes where it is not of much importance. Therefore, the question whether in a particular communal context, ethnic diversity plays any role from the perspective of governance quality (not only in the participation dimension) remains topical. However, an answer to this question will not suffice to formulate generalizations about relations between our variables because it will be valid for concrete cases only. But it will make it possible to show a more multi-dimensional picture of relations in which multiculturalism and governance quality may enter in various local contexts. It may even result in debunking numerous generalizations concerning the impact of “Silesianness/Germanness” on the quality of...

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