Rings and Avenues

Horváth M. Tamás és Bartha Ildikó (szerk.): Gyűrűk és sugarak – Mit nyújt egy magyar város? [Tamás M. Horváth and Ildikó Bartha (eds.): Rings and Avenues. How are services supplied by an average settlement in Hungary?](Dialóg Campus, Budapest, 2014)

 

The nature and contemporary reality of public service delivery in a Hungarian town raises many questions in recent years; not only from a practical view but also from an academic perspective. The example of the city Hajdúböszörmény has been the subject matter of the book „Gyűrűk és sugarak – Mit nyújt egy magyar város” [Rings and Avenues. How are services supplied by an average settlement in Hungary?] published in September 2014. The empirical research, on which the findings of this volume have been founded, was carried out as a part of the project, „Területi közszolgáltatások szabályozásai“ [Regulatory Tools for Local Public Services] implemented by the „MTA–DE Public Service Research Group“ of the Faculty of Law at the University of Debrecen and the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, headed by professor Tamás M. Horváth. The local government of Hajdúböszörmény also assisted the work by providing the necessary public data and information, as well as in finding the way to actors/representatives of bodies being in charge of the respective services at local level.

Hajdúböszörmény, the “capital of hajdús” [“hajdú” relates to an ancient herdsman ethnical group], with a population of approximately 32 thousand people is the second largest town in the county (Hajdú-Bihar). Its unique ring-road and avenue structure also symbolises the administration, regulatory tools and practice of local public service delivery, as well as the way in which formal and informal networks of stakeholder have been developed. The collection of studies offers factual overviews on the state of play of the selected sectors in the city. The work focuses on the changing role of local government and topically examines the organization and regulation for providing local public services. The scope of analysis also extends to those public functions which – even if regulated and organized at central level of governance – have implications for the local government’s work or for the life of the local population. Accordingly, services at issue include local functions of public undertakings, public education, culture, health services, social challenges of the city, local government budget, administrative services, territorial aspects of higher education, church and NGOs as public service provider, local public enforcement, funeral services, local child protection system, and so on. Beyond the “classical” role of local government and authorized actors, the contribution of external providers, which are engaged in some form but not directly tasked with carrying out a public- service mission, were also involved in the analysis. In order to make the findings more expressive, all the papers contain figures, tables and/or short case studies, too. The book may be useful and stimulating to students of social sciences. We also hope that academic researchers, experts of local governments and other stakeholders will find this volume interesting.

Updated: 2017.07.20.