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Decentralization: Institutions and Politics in Rural India

Pradeep K. Sharma (Editor) Satyajit Singh (Editor)
Synopsis This comprehensive volume looks at local governments in rural India as an opportunity to broaden the democratic structure and space for popular participation in local governance. It reviews select state models of decentralization in the country and assesses the form of democratic development possible through the institution of local governments. The work represents an emerging genre of literature on decentralization that is not judgemental on the various approaches to decentralization. It neither takes a pessimistic view of the world of decentralization--marred by caste and gender disparities, clientelism, rent-seeking and nepotism--nor romanticizes it. The essays grapple with the institutional design of decentralization and show how this could influence the social structure and make decentralization a pragmatic philosophy of development rather than a mere rhetoric. By moving beyond the normative notions of decentralization the collection sensitizes us to the politics of decentralization. This study adds to our understanding of the processes and politics of building institutions, capacities and safeguards under the ongoing decentralization programmes. As this process of rural transformation could foundationally transform lives in rural India, it also contributes to the emerging theoretical and empirical methods required to understand this change. In addition, it calls for bringing together research, theory and practice to support the process envisaged in the 73rd Constitutional Amendment. The volume will be of interest to students and scholars of politics and economics. Development practitioners, public administrators, civil society organizations, and training institutions concerned with local governance too will find it immensely useful.
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About the author

Pradeep K. Sharma

Dr. Pradeep K. Sharma teaches at the Centre of Political Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. He did his M.Phil and Ph.D. from the same university. Dr. Sharma has contributed articles to International Review of Sociology and other journals of repute. He has also participated actively in several national and international seminars, workshops and symposia. He is also associated with grassroots activism in India on land and livelihood rights.

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Bibliographic information

Title Decentralization: Institutions and Politics in Rural India
Format Hardcover
Date published: 26.11.2007
Edition 1st ed.
Language: English
isbn 0195687728
length xviii+442p., Tables.