23.08.2021 - 10:00
On 23 August at 10:00 Mariia Chebotareva will defend her doctoral thesis “Functional overlapping competing jurisdictions (FOCJs) as a possible tool for inter-municipal cooperation in the provision of Russian school services” for obtaining the degree of Doctor of Philosophy (in Economics).
Associate Professor Diana Eerma, University of Tartu
Professor dr. dr. h.c. (em.) Peter Joachim Friedrich, University of Tartu
Professor Dr. Florian Bartholomae, Munich Business School (Germany)
Professor Dr. Martina Eckardt, Andrássy University Budapest (Hungary)
The number of municipalities is decreasing in Russia as a consequence of demographic issues. Municipal amalgamation seems unavoidable and the provision of public services, such as for example, school education is moving towards centralization. However, not all the experts can agree that municipal enlargement is necessarily the only and the best solution for declining demand for school services. In support of the latter idea, the thesis suggests to resolve the consequences of depopulation in Russia by the means of inter-municipal cooperation in the form of Functional Overlapping and Competing Jurisdictions (FOCJs) as an alternative approach. In the thesis, FOCJs are economic units, which provide different public services, geographically overlap, compete for clients and members (municipalities) and possess juridical rights and obligations.
The results of the PhD thesis contribute to the theory for FOCJs by suggesting a basis for the decision-making in municipalities, FOCJ management and higher rank jurisdictions and by applying game theoretical approaches to economic modelling. In particular, the author has developed mathematical models for public units’ decision-making in monopoly and duopoly, assuming different types of management behaviour.
The thesis also provides recommendations on how inter-municipal cooperation in the form of FOCJs should be organised in practice for school services provision, which is very important for the planning of regional development policy related to inter-municipal cooperation and school education. Based on interviews conducted in Germany and Russia with public officials in education departments on municipal and regional levels, heads of schools and parents and document analysis, the author proposed institutional recommendations regarding applicability of FOCJs from the juridical point of view. Institutional recommendations concern the company form of association (union) for the FOCJs and required Memorandum and Statute, which should regulate activities of school FOCJs in Russia and other Eastern European countries.
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