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.

The Utility of Bonding Trust and a New Look at the Role of Social Capital in Development

The Utility of Bonding Trust and a New Look at the Role of Social Capital in Development

The utility of bonding trust and a new look at the role of social capital in development

The positive correlation between decentralisation and trust shown in the previous chapter may not be surprising from a more general perspective. The idea that the more citizens perceive that important decision makers have been brought closer to them by the reforms, the more they also seem to trust each other, seems to confirm the positive effects of decentralisation that were emphasised in Chapters 2 and 4. The puzzling part, however, against a background of widely held assumptions about social capital, is that this effect remains even when the social capital is of ...

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