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Civil Society and Governance

Rajesh Tandon (Author) Ranjita Mohanty (Author)
Synopsis The potential of civil society in influencing governance has gained currency in academic and policy debates in the recent times. This becomes particularly relevant in an old democracy like India where the state has not been able to meet the need for water, shelter, education, and as recent events show even the food requirements of a large number of people, but where a democratic framework of the state provides space and freedom for people to engage in collective action to question the state, to demand a revision in policy, to implement the laws which are so elaborately codified in the constitution, and to improve the functioning of its institutions. This makes the interface between civil society and governance in India somewhat different from countries which share a different political, economic and social context. This book seeks to explore this interface in a context where democracy has travelled some distance but at the same time economic and social inequalities of various kinds persist to create a great divide among its people. With empirical case studies drawn form various regions of India and focusing on issues of public policy, accountability and local governance, the book shows how civil society actors are being able to influence governance positively, as well as their limitations which inhibit the impact of this interface. The conceptual and practical implications of civil society and governance interface unravel the issues which any one interested in the debates about democracy and development would find interesting. The book will be of interest to those engaged in research and teaching and people responsible for policy formulation and execution, those who are mobilizing people to demand their rightful share from the state and those who are engaged with the state in a more collaborative mode to enhance the quality of governance.
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About the authors

Rajesh Tandon

Rajesh Tandon has a doctorate in organizational behaviour from the Case Western Reserve University. Cleveland, in 1978. He founded the Society for Participatory Research in Asia in 1982 to provide support to the grass root initiatives in India and since then has advanced the cause of building organizations and capacities of the marginalised through their knowledge, learning and empowerment. He has advocated for a self reliant, autonomous and competent voluntary sector both in India and at the global level. A renowned authority on participatory research, through his research and practice, Dr. Tandon has contributed to the evolution of new thinking and methodologies in people centered development. He has written extensively on various aspects of development, voluntary sector, the relationship between the state and voluntary sector and in recent times has helped advance the concept of civil society and citizen participation world wide.

Ranjita Mohanty

Ranjita Mohanty has a doctorate in Sociology from Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi in 1996. Beginning with her doctorate research which Beginning with her doctorate research which looked at the local struggle against development such a big dams, she has been exploring various dimensions of collective action relating to natural resource management and issues relating to people's participation in development. This has helped her understand and analyse the issues pertaining to development planning and policy, problems of displacement, loss of survival resources of the poor, issues of ownership and control of poor people over the resources on which they survive, coming together of people for their common interest, and the complex and changing relationship between civil society and the state. In her work she has strived to bring theory and practice closer to each other so that reflection and action can influence social transformation. She is currently working with the Society for Participatory Research in Asia, New Delhi.

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Bibliographic information

Title Civil Society and Governance
Format Softcover
Date published: 01.01.2005
Edition Reprint
Language: English
isbn 8187374136
length ix+157p., Tables; References; Index; 22cm.