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Decentralization and Popular Democracy: Governance from Below in Bolivia [Paperback]

Jean-Paul Faguet

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Book Description

30 Aug 2013
Bolivia decentralised in an effort to deepen democracy, improve public services, and make government more accountable. Unlike many countries, Bolivia succeeded. Over the past generation, public investment shifted dramatically toward primary services and resource distribution became far more equitable, partly due to the creation of new local governments. Many municipalities responded to decentralisation with transparent, accountable government, yet others suffered ineptitude, corruption, or both. Why? Jean-Paul Faguet combines broad econometric data with deep qualitative evidence to investigate the social underpinnings of governance. He shows how the interaction of civic groups and business interests determines the quality of local decision making.

In order to understand decentralisation, Faguet argues, we must understand governance from the ground up. Drawing on his findings, he offers an evaluation of the potential benefits of decentralisation and recommendations for structuring successful reform.

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Decentralization and Popular Democracy: Governance from Below in Bolivia + Reconstructing Development Theory: International Inequality, Institutional Reform and Social Emancipation + Why Nations Fail: The Origins of Power, Prosperity and Poverty
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Review

"All in all, this is an excellent piece that provides enough material to change our understanding of the impact of decentralization on public policy, not just in Latin America, but more generally. It will surely form the basis for additional academic studies of decentralization around the world, and hopefully its insights will also inform those interested in the practice of decentralization."--Martin Ardanaz, "Publius: The Journal of Federalism"--Martin Ardanaz"Publius: The Journal of Federalism" (02/27/2013)

About the Author

Jean-Paul Faguet is Reader in the Political Economy of Development at the London School of Economics and Political Science, UK and Chair of the Decentralization Task Force of the Initiative for Policy Dialogue at Columbia University, USA.


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