Course code PolZ3001

Credit points 2

Organization of Local Municipalities

Total Hours in Course80

Number of hours for lectures16

Number of hours for seminars and practical classes16

Independent study hours48

Date of course confirmation07.12.2021

Responsible UnitInstitute of Social Sciences and Humanities

Course developer

author Sociālo un humanitāro zinātņu institūts

Jānis Ķusis

Dr. hist.

Prior knowledge

PolZ1009, Political Theory

Course abstract

Local municipality is an important part of democracy, therefore it is essential to explore the essence and major principles of local municipality work. The course provides knowledge of various types of local municipalities, rise and development of local governments in Latvia, local municipality`s institutions, their competences, status and work of councilors and local municipality officers and decision making.
The aim of the study course is to find an understanding of the place and role of local self-governments in the political system of a democratic society, the organization of local self-governments in Latvia.

Learning outcomes and their assessment

1. Understands the essence of the principle of separation of powers and the place of local governments in it. Discussion in the lesson.
2. Understanding of the concept and essence of local municipality. Test.
3. Understanding of the work organization of the Municipality Council. Test.
4. Able to demonstrate a reasonable understanding of: the organization of municipal work and
problems of socio-economic development and their possible solutions. Independent work.
5. Knows and understands the economic and financial bases of local government activities. Discussion in the lesson.
Professional skills
1. Is able to explain and discuss the division of power and the place of local government in it with arguments. Discussion in the lesson.
2. Is able to model the decision-making process at the council meeting, develop alternatives and present them with arguments. Case study.
3. Is able to analyze the principle of separation of powers, the concept of local government and the basic principles of operation. Test.
4. Is able to analyze the work organization of the municipal council. Test.
5. Is able to independently find and analyze the necessary information on the municipal website, assess the availability and quality of information. Independent work.
Soft skills
1. Able to perform tasks responsibly, on time. Independent work.
2. Able to engage and take responsibility for the results of group work and their analysis. Group work.
3. Is able to develop social interaction, cooperation and organizational skills. Discussions in classes.
4. Is able to present the results of group and independent work. Independent works, group works.
1. Is able to independently develop municipal development programs and draft normative documents. Seminars.
2. Is able to independently formulate and critically analyse complex and dynamic problems and challenges at the local level. Seminars.
3. Able to make decisions, if necessary, perform additional analysis and develop decision alternatives. Seminars.

Course Content(Calendar)

1. The concept and essence of local self-government. (2 hours)
2. Normative base of local self-government activities. (2 hours)
3. Formation and development of local self-governments in Latvia. (2 hours)
4. Process of local self-government reform in Latvia. Administrative - territorial reform. Future reform challenges. (2 hours)
5. State and local self-governments. Supervision of local government activities. Association of Local and Regional Governments of Latvia, its goals, tasks and structure. (2 hours)
6. Competence of local self-governments. (2 hours)
Test 1: The concept, formation and competence of local self-government.
7. Work organization and decision making in the municipality. (6 hours)
8. Local self-government administrative level. (2 hours)
9. Work ethics of deputies and employees. Ethical dilemmas. Codes of ethics. (2 hours)
Test 2: Work organization of the local self-government.
10. Involvement of the population in the work of local self-governments. Opportunities for public participation. Legal basis for public participation. Types of participation. (2 hours)
11. Municipal economy and budget. Place marketing as a means of development. Finance and budget. Municipal financial equalization mechanism. (6 hours)

Requirements for awarding credit points

Accumulative test with a mark. Both tests must be successfully written and both independent works must be defended.

Description of the organization and tasks of students’ independent work

1st independent work: Analysis of the local government website (presentation).
2nd independent work: Analysis of the problems of municipal work organization and socio-economic development and their possible solutions (presentation).

Criteria for Evaluating Learning Outcomes

An accumulating test with a mark at the end of the study course. The assessment consists of the sum of two tests (50%), two independent works (40%) and activities in seminars (10%). 10% corresponds to one point on the 10-point assessment scale.

Compulsory reading

1. Administratīvo teritoriju un apdzīvoto vietu likums. Rīga, 2020.
2. Bowman A. State and Local Government: the essentials. Boston, New York: Haughton Miffin Co, 2000. 329 p. Pieejams:
3. Caplan B. D. The myth of the rational voter : why democracies choose bad policies. Princeton, Oxford: Princeton University Press, 2006. 277 p. Pieejams:
4. Likums “Par pašvaldībām”. Rīga, 1994.
5. Pūķis M. Pašu valdība. Latvijas pašvaldību pieredze, idejas un nākotnes redzējums. Rīga: Latvijas Pašvaldību savienība, 2010. 512 lpp.
6. Vaidere I u.c. Reģionālā politika un pašvaldību attīstība Eiropas Savienībā. Rīga: LU Akadēmiskais apgāds, 2006. 296 lpp.
7. Vanags E, Vilka I. Pašvaldību darbība un attīstība. Rīga: LU Akadēmiskais apgāds, 2005., 384 lpp.
8. European Charter of Local self - government. Strasborgh, 1985.

Further reading

1. Jansone D., ReinholdeI., Ulnicāne I. Latvijas publiskā pārvalde. Rīga: LU, 2002. 292 lpp.
2. Pūķis M., Začesta L. ES reģionālās attīstības politika un pašvaldības Latvijā. Rīga, 2003. 71 lpp.
3. Rags Z. Pašvaldības un to darbības tiesiskais pamats demokrātiskā valstī. Rīga: Latvijas policijas akadēmija.,2000., 306 lpp.
4. Rags Z. Vietējās pārvaldes organizācijas un darbības tiesiskais nodrošinājums ārvalstīs (ārvalstu pašvaldību tiesības. Rīga.: LPA,2004. 285 lpp.
5. Regional and Local Government in the European Union. Responsibilities and Resources. Brussels: Committee of the regions of the European Union, 2001. 241p.
6. Reģionu attīstība Latvijā. Rīga: VSIA „Reģionu attīstība”, 2003. 76 lpp.
7. Šļara A. Latvijas pašvaldību teritorijas attīstības programmas kvalitātes izvērtēšanas sistēma. Promocijas darba kopsavilkums. Jelgava: LLU, 2005. 39 lpp.
8. Vanags E. Valsts pārvaldes reformas ārvalstīs un Latvijā. Rīga.: LSI, 2007. 103 lpp.

Periodicals and other sources

1. Logs. Latvijas Pašvaldību savienības izdevums 2000-2010 ISSN 5888
2. Local Government Studies- Taylor & Francis Online. ISSN: 1743-9388 [Tiešsaiste].[Skatīts 01.10.2018.] (Pieejams: )


Compulsory study course for academic bachelor study program “Sociology of Organizations and Public Administration”