(Czech title: Politika odvolani jako inovativni nastroj prosazovani transparentnosti a obcanske ucasti ve slovenske a polske mistni samosprave). In recent years, social scientists have paid considerable attention to the rise of various innovations in the practice of democracy, particularly tools for improving the inclusiveness and effectiveness of citizen participation in policy. However, fewer studies have sought to empirically assess the degree to which such democratic tools actually bring about positive outcomes in citizen participation. This article contributes to that agenda by using several different criteria to assess the practice of local recalls in Poland and Slovakia, the only two post-communist countries where the citizen-initiated recall process is legally binding. Based on original qualitative research, the article finds support to the view that, despite the 'populist' aspects of the device, the recall process can play a positive role in fostering citizen participation and the restoring legitimacy to public office when politicians are perceived to abuse their power.