Can decentralization reduce a democratic deficit? Can decentralization make public administration more efficient and act as a safeguard against corruption? What can we learn from India's experience from its extensive decentralization reforms so far?

In this book, Sten Widmalm adopts comparative and empirical approaches to examine how decentralization is connected to social capital and corruption. Using evidence from in-depth field studies in Madhya Pradesh and Kerala, and analyzing it against historical cases from around the world, he presents theoretical perspectives and policy suggestions. Widmalm's journey takes him to ancient Rome, Greece and India, as well as to the West, China, Latin America, and Russia of more recent times.

Decentralisation in India: In Theory and Practice

Decentralisation in India: In theory and practice

So long as we believe that India lives in her villages and not in her cities, we must go to the villages sooner or later. If so, why not today?

—M.K. Gandhi (1934)


Certainly the famous words of Mahatma Gandhi have lost some of their meaning today. More than ever before, India is shaped by the politics and economic development that emerge from the large cities. Even so, there is nowadays a tendency to exaggerate the role of the cities and the ‘new’ economy. The emphasis on India's image as a modern and IT-oriented nation marinated in the global economy has led some of us to forget that India still does live very much ...

  • Loading...
locked icon

Sign in to access this content

Get a 30 day FREE TRIAL

  • Watch videos from a variety of sources bringing classroom topics to life
  • Read modern, diverse business cases
  • Explore hundreds of books and reference titles