The Architecture of Government: Rethinking Political Decentralization

The Architecture of Government: Rethinking Political Decentralization

by Daniel Treisman
Pub. Date:
Cambridge University Press

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The Architecture of Government: Rethinking Political Decentralization

Since the days of Montesquieu and Jefferson, political decentralization has been seen as a force for better government and economic performance. It is thought to bring government 'closer to the people', nurture civic virtue, protect liberty, exploit local information, stimulate policy innovation, and alleviate ethnic tensions. Inspired by such arguments, and generously funded by the major development agencies, countries across the globe have been racing to devolve power to local governments. This book re-examines the arguments that underlie the modern faith in decentralization. Using logical analysis and formal modeling, and appealing to numerous examples, it shows that most are based on vague intuitions or partial views that do not withstand scrutiny. A review of empirical studies of decentralization finds these as inconclusive and mutually contradictory as the theories they set out to test.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780521872294
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Publication date: 07/31/2007
Series: Cambridge Studies in Comparative Politics Series
Pages: 348
Product dimensions: 5.98(w) x 8.98(h) x 0.83(d)

Table of Contents

1. Introduction; 2. The political process; 3. Administrative efficiency; 4. Competition among governments; 5. Fiscal policy and redistribution; 6. Fiscal coordination and incentives; 7. Citizens and government; 8. Checks, balances, and freedom; 9. Acquiring and using knowledge; 10. Ethnic conflict and secession; 11. Data to the rescue?; 12. Conclusion: rethinking decentralization.

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