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 in India

Corruption in India

It is now time to test thoroughly whether decentralisation has some positive or negative correlation with corruption. Such a test must also include as many other factors as possible that may arguably affect either corruption alone or corruption and decentralisation together—and here we are naturally referring to the possible influences discussed in the previous chapter. Only after consideration of these possible contending factors can we begin to see the role of decentralisation in relation to the phenomenon of corruption. This necessitates explaining the step from theoretical considerations of corruption to actually measuring it. This will be done in the first part of this chapter. In the second part, we will test any relationship that emerges between decentralisation and corruption, and ...

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