Soft law can be more effective in aligning local governments than using traditional methods like plans. Two contexts help to explain the superior efficacy of soft law instruments. The first is when local authorities adopt successful policies suggested by the public authority with the intention of imitating them. The second is when a local authority feels constrained by lack of funding and thus cannot feasibly exercise their powers. In an intergovernmental relationship, a non-traditional method works better than a traditional one when it takes advantage of budget cuts to adopt a soft law instrument. It is worth noting, moreover, that the challenge of alignment discussed in this paper arises in any country with decentralized authorities (federal systems, regional systems and even unitary-decentralized systems). The same problem in all such systems, in which local autonomy is asserted by local authorities in a State.
Our 2020 Annual Conference was scheduled to be held at the University of Wrocław in Poland on July 9-11, 2020.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the ICON·S Executive Committee has decided to postpone our 2020 Conference to 2021. Our next Annual Conference will take place from July 8-10, 2021, in Wrocław, Poland.
Procedural details regarding the organization of the 2021 Conference will follow in the months ahead.Join ICON•S