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Re-building Trust in Local Governments:
Re-thinking Politics, Management and Governance in the Post-NPM Era
Joint PhD-Training School

The University of Siena, the EUROLOC and EURA Summer school cooperation
and the COST Action IS1207 “Local Public Sector Reforms: An International Comparison (LocRef)”

September 29 to October 02, 2014

About the PhD-Training School:
Local governments all over Europe are in a period of intense reform activity, not least of all because in some countries they have been the level of government most seriously affected by the still expanding global financial and economic crisis. They are simultaneously faced by a variety of – partly contradictory – reform pressures, often aimed at conflicting reform objectives (e.g. efficiency vs. participation). Against this background, the PhD-Training School is meant to discuss reforms, experiments and changes in local democracy and local public sector institutions. The course is intended to provide training in theories and methods to be applied in the study of local public sector reforms and democracy, especially in comparative perspectives. The Training School will focus on democratic reforms and new instruments of citizen participation (e.g. referenda, direct election of mayors). In addition, it concentrates on New Public Management (NPM) reforms that were targeted towards marketization, privatization and ‘corporatization’ as well as the more recent ‘Post-NPM’ reforms, which were often aimed at correcting the shortcomings of earlier NPM measures. Finally it will include the more nationally driven territorial and functional reforms (municipal amalgamations, decentralization) that have been fuelled, in part, by recent austerity measures and the hopes of national policy makers that such reforms will facilitate economies of scale.

About the COST Action:
‘LocRef’ is a EU funded network of researchers coming from 29 European countries who work in the field of local public sector reforms. The Action will provide a platform for establishing a new set of comparative knowledge on local public sector reforms and for integrating the fragmented research activities in this neglected area of investigation. It aims to enhance the scope of the conceptual foundations as well as the methodological rigour of comparative public administration. The research activities will yield policy relevant knowledge concerning local reform measures from a European perspective, which can then be utilized to improve policy making for future public sector modernization. A major objective of the Action is to encourage young researchers in network building to promote their future careers. The aim is to strengthen their methodological skills as well as their conceptual and comparative knowledge on local public sector reforms.

For more information, please refer to
About the Department of Business and Law – University of Siena
The Department of Business and Law (DISAG) was formed through the merger of the Department of Business and Social Studies and the Department of Economic Law. The mission of DISAG is fully consistent with the Bologna Declaration (June 1999) that recognizes that the triple function of University is to provide the highest levels of education, advanced research and cutting-edge innovation. In this perspective, the research lines of the area of business administration breaks down as follows:

  • analysis of the principles and tools of management and control, with reference to the economic and business implications of the innovations that involve both private sector companies and public administration. In this area of research are also part and the analysis of the relations between regulation and accounting. The themes that define these areas of study were examined with particular attention to their cultural, social and institutional profiles;
  • financial analysis;
  • analysis of markets and financial intermediaries, non-bank bank, with reference to the services offered function-oriented monetary, credit and banking. The research is aimed at analyzing the processes of their businesses, the risks assumed and the logic of financial regulation, markets and financial instruments traded;
  • development of innovative and original for the creation of a new entrepreneurship;
  • study of issues related to marketing;
  • analysis and development of quantitative models to support business decisions.

Click here For more information.

About the LOGOPOL and EURA Summer School:
The Standing Group in Local Government Studies of the European Consortium of Political Research (LOGOPOL) has been holding Summer Schools in Local Government and Governance Studies since 1995. In 2012, the Standing Group in Local Government Studies and EURA joined their forces to work together by organizing the EUROLOC and EURA Summer School in Local Government and Governance studies. This Summer School supports PhD students in their research activities by giving them the opportunity to present and discuss their work with others and inspire their research. The aim is to bring students up-to-date with ongoing research in the field of local government and governance, develop links between PhD students and experienced researchers in the field of local government and governance studies who work with the same kind of research questions. They want to stimulate scientific exchange among students of different backgrounds, foster cross-national working relations among the participants, contribute to the development of the comparative study of local politics and administration, but also discuss methodological questions of comparative local research either nationally or internationally, either quantitatively or qualitatively. In 2014, EUROLOC and EURA will not organize a separate summer school in local governance studies but participate in the organization of the common PhD training course with the COST Action and the University of Siena to promote the common aims.

For more information about EUROLOC, EURA and the previous summer schools click here.


Who can participate?

Early stage researchers (PhD students and PhDs + 8 years) from disciplines such as administrative science, law, economics, public management, sociology, political science or history interested in the overall topic to participate. The number of participants is limited to 24. PhD students in need of credit points will be preferred.
Credit Points: The course will give participants five credit points. Students are expected to give a brief presentation of their work (PhD topic, about 20 minutes) during the seminar, to shortly comment one assigned paper chosen among those presented by other PhD Students (about 5 minutes), and to write a small essay based on their participation in the course; the essay should be completed within a month after the seminar. A reading list will be published. Participants with no need of credit points
may present also their topic, depending on available time slots.

Fee and Financing: No participation fee will be charged for participants. The Department of Business and Law will offer lunches and one joint dinner. Participants may apply for financial support from the COST project. The COST Action ‘LocRef ’ can give a grant to 24 applicants coming from the participating countries of the Action (click here for eligible countries).

The grant will be a lump sum of 700.- € for participants from outside Italy. The grant for participants from Italy will be 450.- €. Attendance on all four days is mandatory. The selection will be based on the paper/abstract quality.

Registration procedure: Please submit an abstract that provides a brief outline of your current work (PhD topic/project outline, 300 words max., in English) accompanied by a short CV, electronically by June 30, 2014.

To apply for the PhD-grant of the COST Action LocRef, please send your abstract and CV to all of the following with ‘Phd-Training School Grant’ in the subject line :

  • Sabine Kuhlmann (,
  • Christian Schwab (,
  • Riccardo Mussari (,
  • AngelikaVetter (

Participants and grant holders will be notified within the second half of July about the status of their application.