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Decentralization and Local Governance in Developing Countries: A Comparative Perspective

Dilip Mookherjee (Editor) Pranab Bardhan (Editor)
Synopsis 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 non-democratic 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. This volume will be of interest to scholars, students, and researchers of economics, politics, political theory, and development studies.
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About the author

Pranab Bardhan

Pranab Bardhan is Professor of Economics at the University of California, Berkeley, and co-chair of the MacArthur Foundation-funded Network on the Effects of Inequality on Economic Performance. He has done theoretical and field research on rural institutions in poor countries, political economy of development policies, and international trade. He was chief Editor, Journal of Development Economics, 1985-2003. His books include Poverty, Agrarian Structure, and Political Economy in India: Selected Essays, 2003; Development Microeconomics, 1999.

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Bibliographic information

Title Decentralization and Local Governance in Developing Countries: A Comparative Perspective
Format Hardcover
Date published: 03.04.2007
Edition 1st ed.
Language: English
isbn 0195686748
length viii+364p., Tables; Figures