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Decentering the State for Local Accountability through Representation: Social Divides as a Barrier in South Asia

PAQ, Vol. 32 No. 1, (2008)

In recent decades, in line with the ethos of democratization and market-driven reforms, there has emerged a growing trend towards decentering the state and transferring its power to various non-state actors, including local government institutions. In the developing world, although the principles and processes of decentralization have been introduced in order to enhance local-level accountability, the realization of such accountability has been greatly constrained or compromised due to various forms of social divides based on class, caste, and gender. This article explores these issues and concerns with special reference to selected South Asian countries.

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