Local Self-government in the System of Civil Society Institutions

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Changes in public relations and a high level of civic engagement have led to the constitutional amendment and adoption of such categories as “civil society” and “institutions of civil society.” An important result of constitutional modernization was the normative consolidation in the text of the Constitution of the Russian Federation of the main forms of interaction between civil society institutions and public authorities. For the implementation of the constitutional provisions, it is necessary to develop theoretical ideas concerning the activities of the structural elements of modern society on their interrelations with public authorities.

The legal characteristics of a civil society institution are studied in the context of local self-government. It is opined that local self-government is not even remotely qualified to be regarded an institution of civil society because it lacks the attributes of independence and autonomy of activity. In accordance with the legislation of the Russian Federation, a significant part of the activities of local self-government bodies, including their formation, takes place in the public sphere. Only certain elements of their activities — in particular, the forms of direct democracy — can be attributed to the sphere of civil society. It is suggested that local self-government be considered from the general law view as a form of interaction between civil society institutions and the public authorities.

Special attention is paid to the relationship between local self-government and civil society. An analysis of the current regulations on the interaction between civil society institutions and local self-government bodies leads to the conclusion that the existing legislation does not fully provide for the implementation of various forms of direct participation of citizens and their associations in the local self-government affairs. Therefore, it is necessary to improve legislation in order to increase the effectiveness of the interactions between local self-government bodies and civil society institutions.

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About the authors

Elena E. Nikitina

Institute of Legislation and Comparative Law under the Government of the Russian Federation

Author for correspondence.
Email: nikee@mail.ru

candidate of the law

Russian Federation, Moscow


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