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Revitalizing the State

 
Pradip N. Khandwalla (Author)
Synopsis This important book probes the reasons for the almost universal decline of the contemporary state. It presents a number of options for revitalizing it so as to make the state more responsive to the needs of the people. Pradip Khandwalla begins by outlining four principal models of the state that have gained currency in the twentieth century: the interventionist welfare state: the developmental state; the 'reinvented' entrepreneurial state: and the World Bank model of the humane market-friendly state. He then proceeds to review some of the main reasons--which include growing size and complexity, corruption, bureaucratic failures, and defective political systems and skewed political representation--for the widespread failure of the state. On the other hand, he discusses some remarkable success stories mainly from Commonwealth and East Asian nations. Drawing on numerous macro and micro examples from these success stories, the book moves on to examining forms of the democratic state that are sustainable both in developed countries and in the Third World. This discussion leads to a menu of options for revitalizing the state. Among the solutions proffered are: Fragmenting the state into more or less autonomous units to enhance the innovativeness and effectiveness of its parts and their public accountability. Slimming the state through selective privatization, contracting out of services and deregulation. strengthening the state by promoting mechanisms of self-regulation, associative and direct Democracy, fair representation, and Government stability, and by guaranteeing civil rights. Strengthening political management by ensuring the competence, probity and accountability of political executives. Finally, Professor Khandwalla illustrates the relevance of these possibilities by applying them to India in an international and comparative framework. He finds that while the Indian state has many blemishes, it also has to its credit many achievements. Written with scholarship, clarity and insight, a unique feature of this very topical book is its identification of defective design of the state as the root cause of widespread malfunctioning. Another distinguishing feature is that instead of lamenting about how bad governance has become or how horrid politicians and bureaucrats are, the book offers many tested options for the state's redemption. The book will be of immense value to political executives, legislators, bureaucrats and scholars in the fields of public administration, governance, political science and organizational studies.
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Bibliographic information

Title Revitalizing the State
Format Hardcover
Date published: 01.01.1999
Edition 1st Ed.
Language: English
isbn 0761993169
length 308p.