In November 1998, Jan Kasl, a successful architect and former city councilor, his surprise party election for Mayor of Prague, the capital of the Czech Republic. A virtual political unknown, was elected rejected by the other political parties in negotiations to form a coalition government Kasl for the post only after the mayor. Given Kasl inexperience and low-profile, most observers assumed he would be a quiet figurehead after his predecessor’s footsteps and … Read more »

In November 1998, Jan Kasl, a successful architect and former city councilor, his surprise party election for Mayor of Prague, the capital of the Czech Republic. A virtual political unknown, was elected rejected by the other political parties in negotiations to form a coalition government Kasl for the post only after the mayor. Given Kasl inexperience and low-profile, most observers assumed he would be a quiet figurehead after his predecessor’s footsteps and toeing the party line. Kasl however had other ideas. While a relative newcomer to the government, had long Kasl of what he saw as the opacity of the city operations frustrated and angered by alleged ill-treatment by the authorities. Soon after his appointment, Kasl vowed to do his best to open City Council and stop the conflicts of interest, lack of accountability and questionable deals he had believed damaged the image and effectiveness of City Hall. To do this, though, he would have to figure out how important institutional and political obstacles, without a political backlash that could torpedo any progress, or even force to overcome him from office. Is it better to confront a leader with a reform agenda and antagonist to force depend on public support? Or would a look behind the scenes, coalition-building strategy to be more pragmatic and effective? Or is a successful reform of the two approaches to borrow? In addition to these management issues, this case provides a window into the political life of post-socialist Eastern Europe, the so-called “New Europe” and provides a vehicle for the analysis of the question, what is the best structure for local government in a newly-democratic (and decentralization ) state. HKS case number 1797.0
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Susan Rosegrant,
Merilee Grindle
9 sides.
Publication Date: Jul 22, in 2005. Prod #: HKS472-PDF-ENG
Reform Prague City Hall: the efforts of Mayor January Kasl on transparency and corruption (A) HBR case solution Increase