• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

Both India and China have experienced economic changes that have generated new challenges for local institutions. This volume closely studies the resultant grass-roots political experiences in these countries from an interdisciplinary perspective. It examines the process of democratization and highlights the growing demands for participation and the complex power structures interjecting them.

The contributors to this volume discuss issues relating to institutional structures and the dynamics of local governance in a changing socio-economic environment. In addition to the political economy of rural areas, they also focus on the role of gender, ethnicity, and religion in local political processes.

Key Features

Outlines how institutional innovation has evolved in both countries; Highlights the impact of the 73rd Amendment to the Constitution (in India) and the Organic Law (in China) in ...

Introduction: Local Governance, Local Democracy and the Right to Participate
Introduction: Local governance, local democracy and the right to participate
Two Perspectives on Local Government

Aspirations for grass-roots democracy have acquired universal recognition during the past quarter century. In recent years, however, local self-governance has emerged as the new mantra of the forces of globalisation and liberalisation. There are two divergent perspectives on local governance: one sees it as an arena for transforming an unequal local society into a democratic community; while the other treats it as an agency or a channel to implement centrally-formulated policies and programmes. The former evokes the ideas of Gandhi, trying to reinvent the vision of gram swaraj or village-level self-rule or villagers’ self-determination in the course of people's struggle for freedom. ...

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