• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

The sharpening poverty contradictions and their links to a larger governance reality is the theme of this book. Enhanced understanding of the security and human rights situation in South Asia has also led to identification of alternative possibilities for innovative policy at both the micro and macro levels. Action research, which provides the material basis for formulating sustainable policy, differentiates this work from conventional development thinking and action. This material basis is provided by learning from the survival struggles of the poor themselves and new social movements in South Asia, and not from a priori theorizing and received wisdom from distant contexts. The book identifies critical elements in a more holistic interdisciplinary and analytical methodology. Another methodological innovation reflected in this work is the dialogical ...


This part of the book contains three case studies on the practice of decentralization reforms and the constraints of the poor to empowerment, so that political democracy and economic democracy can be linked. Chapter 9 traces the evolution of local self governance in India, with special reference to Kerala. It identifies some of the factors that constrained the decentralization process from empowering the poor and factors that induce a process of pro-poor growth with equity. The idea of village panchayats was recognized by the colonial regime, and later the idea of Gram Swaraj or self-regulated villages which was propounded by Mahatma Gandhi was adopted by successive socialist oriented state governments to introduce a model of socialism under non-classical conditions. Yet, the centralized structure of ...

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