Decentralization, Democratic Governance, And Civil Society In Comparative Perspective

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Decentralization, Democratic Governance, and Civil Society in Comparative Perspective studies the relation of decentralization to democratization at both intermediate and local levels and analyzes how decentralization is transforming the relationship between the state and civil society. This book presents case studies from six countries in three continents in which decentralization of some parts of government has been attempted: Mexico, Chile, South Africa, Kenya, the Philippines, and Indonesia.

The work surveys a range of issues in decentralization: which actors in each country have been most responsible for initiating and sustaining decentralization; how much decentralization to regional and local authorities has transformed the state; and whether stronger local governments produce greater accountability to citizens. The final chapter by Tulchin and Selee draws conclusions on these issues based on the case studies, while the introduction by Philip Oxhorn lays a theoretical foundation for understanding the relationship between decentralization and democracy.

Woodrow Wilson Center Press

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Editorial Reviews

Journal of Third World Studies - Garth N. Jones

It deserves to be read and pondered.

South Asia Research - Abdullah Al Faruque

Provides important insights... will be of much interest to South Asian policy-makers and academics in the area of public administration.


This volume examines the effects of decentralization on citizen-state relationships in the developing world.


This volume examines the effects of decentralization on citizen-state relationships in the developing world.

Journal of Third World Studies
It deserves to be read and pondered.

— Garth N. Jones

South Asia Research
Provides important insights... will be of much interest to South Asian policy-makers and academics in the area of public administration.

— Abdullah Al Faruque

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780801879197
  • Publisher: Johns Hopkins University Press
  • Publication date: 6/24/2004
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 364
  • Product dimensions: 0.94 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 6.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Philip Oxhorn is a professor of political science and associate dean at McGill University. Joseph S. Tulchin is director of the Latin American Program at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, and Andrew D. Selee is director of the Mexico Institute at the Wilson Center.

Woodrow Wilson Center Press

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Table of Contents

1 Unraveling the puzzle of decentralization 3
Pt. I Latin America
2 Twenty years of decentralization in Mexico : a top-down process 33
3 Decentralization and civil society in Mexico 59
4 State decentralization and regional actors in Chile 82
5 Local governance and democratization : the view from the Chilean border 119
Pt. II Africa
6 South Africa's double reform : decentralization and the transition from apartheid 141
7 Kenya's decentralization through the devolution of power : advances and limits 190
Pt. III Asia
8 The Philippines : decentralization, local governments, and citizen action 211
9 Decentralization and regional autonomy in Indonesia 266
10 Decentralization and democratic governance : lessons and challenges 295
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