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.

Discussion: How Decentralisation, Corruption and Civil Society Connect

Discussion: How Decentralisation, Corruption and Civil Society Connect

Discussion: How decentralisation, corruption and civil society connect

This study was started with the intention of finding out how far we could go with the argument that decentralisation promotes development, and also how decentralisation relates to democratic values and the efficiency of public administration. Now we have reached a point where we can comment on the democratic effects with some certainty. We also know that we have a complex relationship between decentralisation and corruption to sort out, and we have found that the only category of variables that may provide really significant leads is social capital.

I think it has been clearly shown that decentralisation is no simple panacea for underdevelopment. We began by discussing the two arguments for ...

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