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.

Corruption and its Causes

Corruption and its causes

When this study began, the literature generally supported the idea that decentralisation somehow militated against corruption. But there were also warnings that decentralisation could also decentralise corruption—just shifting the problem to another level.1 Given the important role attributed to corruption as a development problem and the conflicting claims about its relationship to decentralisation, the research task that presents itself here is quite challenging. Any vagueness when using these central concepts would generate serious problems. We have to be very clear not only about what we mean by decentralisation, but also about what is meant by corruption. In the next chapter, the details of how this part of the project was handled in the survey will be discussed from ...

  • 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