The Impact of Ethnic Heterogeneity on Decentralization Perceptions in Romania

Septimiu Rareș SZABO


While most research on decentralization has focused mainly on the fiscal implications, there is also a need to assess the perceptions of citizens towards the process, perceptions which are like­ly to differ between different ethnic, religious or cultural groups. Although Romania is one of the largest European countries, research in this area has been very limited. The aim of this paper is to provide preliminary insights into the relationship between ethnic heterogeneity and perceptions of decentralization.  Using an experimental research design, the paper examines support for decentralization in Bucharest, the mostly homogenous capital city located in Wallachia, and in Cluj-Napoca, the largest city in Transylvania with a relatively ethnically heterogeneous population. Results suggest that heterogeneous populations seem to be more sensitive to the rhetoric about decen­tralization.   


decentralization, ethnicity, experimental research design, Romania

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