High Tension Systems

Urban Services

Horváth M. Tamás: Magasfeszültség. Városi szolgáltatások, Dialóg Campus, Budapest-Pécs, 2015 [Tamás M. Horváth: High Tension Systems: Urban Services (Dialóg Campus Publishing, Budapest-Pécs, 2015)]

City leaders and company managers of providing public services may have a kind of nightmare caused by the potential business and governmental risks in this field. Recently, the society seems to be also sensitive to economic and political conflicts in the public utility sector. Provision of urban public services by corporate groups, as well as transformation of territorial framework for urban systems were decisive factors in generating such conflicts. The volume examines the origins of contradictions in governmental solutions and in company management, focusing on the roles and interests at different levels of public administration, and on those represented by public utility companies. Neither of these groups of interests exist in isolation, the impact of expanding company networks as well as the changing directions in development of sectoral EU policies are thus significant. Challenges associated with community risks may also be answered differently. The underlying conception of the book is that there is a simultaneous tendency of increasing governmental roles in the provision of public services, which can be seen in some forms at all level of governance. It is, however, assumed that such a process can not exclusively explained by a demand for correction of previous governance failures; answers given to recent challenges are also influenced by economic and political interests, either in national or the European context. This statement has been confirmed by experiences of everyday practice and by some explanatory cases brought by the author to illustrate the recent contradictory development.

The book is partly analytical one on a comparative base. Some parts of the study are based on a quantitative survey made on a representative sample, supplemented with results of cross-country empirical surveys. Comparative analysis carried out in the framework of country-based and comparative research projects, as well as in a participatory analyses of a large multi-utility public company were also important factors of the underlying research. The volume may be useful and informative to experts working in the public sector, graduate students and for all those who are deeply interested in contemporary theoretical issues and practical questions of social studies.

Updated: 2017.07.19.

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