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Decentralization and popular democracy: governance from below in Bolivia

Faguet, Jean-Paul ORCID: 0000-0002-7188-0098 (2012) Decentralization and popular democracy: governance from below in Bolivia. University of Michigan Press, Ann Arbor, USA. ISBN 9780472118199

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Decentralization is meant to deepen democracy, improve public services, and make government more accountable. But evidence from across the globe is contradictory. Is it all empty fashion? A giant mistake? Jean-Paul Faguet uses the remarkable case of Bolivia to investigate reform over a generation. Public investment shifted dramatically towards primary services and resource distribution became far more equitable. Change was driven by Bolivia’s smaller, poorer municipalities prioritizing their needs. Many municipalities responded to decentralization with transparent, accountable government, but others suffered ineptitude, corruption or both. Why? Faguet combines broad econometric data with deep qualitative evidence to plumb the social underpinnings of governance. He shows how civic groups and firms interact to determine the quality of local decision-making. To understand decentralization, Faguet argues, we must understand governance from the ground up. He concludes with a discussion of the potential benefits of decentralization and recommendations for structuring successful reform.

Item Type: Book
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2012 University of Michigan
Divisions: International Development
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HB Economic Theory
J Political Science > JA Political science (General)
J Political Science > JS Local government Municipal government
JEL classification: D - Microeconomics > D7 - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making > D71 - Social Choice; Clubs; Committees; Associations
H - Public Economics > H4 - Publicly Provided Goods > H41 - Public Goods
H - Public Economics > H4 - Publicly Provided Goods > H42 - Publicly Provided Private Goods
H - Public Economics > H7 - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations > H72 - State and Local Budget and Expenditures
O - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth > O1 - Economic Development > O18 - Regional, Urban, and Rural Analyses
Date Deposited: 10 Jan 2012 09:58
Last Modified: 20 Oct 2021 01:09

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