Decentralization and Local Governance in Developing Countries: A Comparative Perspective

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Overview

Over the past three decades the developing world has seen increasing devolution of political and economic power to local governments. Decentralization is considered an important element of participatory democracy and, along with privatization and deregulation, represents a substantial reduction in the authority of national governments over economic policy. The contributors to Decentralization and Local Governance in Developing Countries examine this institutional transformation from comparative and interdisciplinary perspectives, offering detailed case studies of decentralization in eight countries: Bolivia, Brazil, China, India, Indonesia,Pakistan, South Africa, and Uganda.Some of these countries witnessed an unprecedented "big bang"shift toward comprehensive political and economic decentralization: Bolivia in 1995 and Indonesia after the fall of Suharto in 1998. Brazil and India decentralized in an uneven and more gradual manner. In some other countries (such as Pakistan) devolution represented an instrument for consolidation of power of a nondemocratic national government. In China local governments were granted much economic but little political power. South Africa made the transition from the undemocratic decentralization of apartheid to decentralization under a democratic constitution. The studies provide a comparative perspective on the political and economic context within which decentralization took place, and how this shaped its design and possible impact.Contributors:OmarAzfar, Gianpaolo Baiocchi, Pranab Bardhan, Shubham Chaudhuri, Ali Cheema, Jean-Paul Faguet, BertHofman, Kai Kaiser, Philip E. Keefer, Asim Ijaz Khwaja, Justin Yifu Lin, Mingxing Liu, JeffreyLivingston, Patrick Meagher, Dilip Mookherjee, Ambar Narayan, Adnan Qadir, Ran Tao, Tara Vishwanath,Martin Wittenberg

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"This book is an excellent addition to the literature on decentralisation...readers will find the book both interesting and easy reading because of its clear and informative presentation." Abdurohman Bulletin of Indonesian Economic Studies

The MIT Press

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780262524544
  • Publisher: MIT Press
  • Publication date: 7/21/2006
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 374
  • Sales rank: 1,336,225
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.75 (d)

Meet the Author

Pranab Bardhan is Professor of Economics at the University of California, Berkeley. He is the author of Scarcity, Conflicts, and Cooperation (MIT Press, 2004) and coeditor (with Christopher Udry) of Readings in Development Microeconomics, Volumes I andII (MIT Press, 2000).

Dilip Mookherjee is Professor of Economics at Boston University. He is the author most recently of The Crisis in Government Accountability: Governance Reforms and Indian EconomicPerformance.

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Table of Contents

1 The rise of local governments : an overview 1
2 Inequality and innovation : decentralization as an opportunity structure in Brazil 53
3 Decentralization, democratic transition, and local governance in Indonesia 81
4 Decentralizing Bolivia : local government in the jungle 125
5 What difference does a constitutional amendment make? : the 1994 Panchayati Raj Act and the attempt to revitalize rural local government in India 153
6 Decentralization in West Bengal : origins, functioning, and impact 203
7 Decentralization in Uganda 223
8 Local government reform in Pakistan : context, content, and causes 257
9 Decentralization in Pakistan : are local governments likely to be more accountable than central government? 285
10 Decentralization and local governance in China's economic transition 305
11 Decentralization in South Africa 329
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