India believed it could take development closer to its people, make the government more
accountable, and empower women and oppressed communities through decentralisation-the
provision of political and financial autonomy at the local level through the three-tier
Panchayati Raj structure. Fifteen years after the 73rd and 74th Amendments that brought in
this innovation, what is the performance of the local government in India?
Decentralisation, Governance and Development provides a comprehensive assessment that
answers this question.
Drawing from the examples of the two states where decentralisation has been most
successful-Kerala and West Bengal-this volume explores the causes and effects of failures
in implementation and issues of governance. These essays by scholars from diverse
disciplines, as well as policymakers and practitioners, will equip readers with both a
theoretical understanding of the issues concerning local government, and the practical
problems of designing and implementing policy framework in the field.
This book will be useful to students and scholars of development studies, economics,
political science and sociology, and public servants and policymakers.