Download Going Local: Decentralization, Democratization, and the by Merilee S. Grindle PDF

By Merilee S. Grindle

Many constructing nations have a background of hugely centralized governments. because the past due Nineteen Eighties, quite a few those governments have brought decentralization to extend democracy and enhance companies, particularly in small groups faraway from capital towns. In Going Local, an extraordinary examine of the results of decentralization on thirty Mexican municipalities, Merilee Grindle describes how neighborhood governments reply once they are assigned new obligations and assets less than decentralization rules. She explains why decentralization results in larger neighborhood governments in a few cases--and why it fails to in others.

Combining quantitative and qualitative tools, Grindle examines information according to a random pattern of Mexican municipalities--and ventures into city halls to persist with public officers as they search to control quite a few initiatives amid conflicting pressures and new expectancies. Decentralization, she discovers, is a double-edged sword. whereas it permits public leaders to make major reforms fast, institutional weaknesses undermine the sturdiness of swap, and legacies of the earlier proceed to impact how public difficulties are addressed. voters take part, yet they're extra profitable at extracting assets from govt than in keeping neighborhood officers and organisations responsible for their activities. the advantages of decentralization on a regular basis estimated by way of economists, political scientists, and administration experts should not inevitable, she argues. fairly, they're strongly stimulated by means of the standard of neighborhood management and politics.

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Extra resources for Going Local: Decentralization, Democratization, and the Promise of Good Governance

Sample text

Using the information gathered in the field—and to the extent possible verified with information from survey data—I constructed an index of municipal performance to represent differences among the local governments. National demographic, electoral, and fiscal data on the municipalities also form part of the analysis. In the following chapters, these data are used to explore the four hypotheses and to construct a story of what was happening at local levels in the wake of decentralization. What was the story that emerged from this study?

This book seeks to analyze and explain how local governments and local public officials were coping with new responsibilities and resources in the wake of decentralizing policies. The answer? They were coping variously. Decentralization in Mexico was a dynamic process, suffering setbacks as well as advances, introducing opportunities for lapses as well as improvements in performance, and calling attention to the diversity of local response to new responsibilities and resources. The dynamic of change was structured by pressures from above and below, as well as from inside town hall, and was affected significantly by changes in the opportunity structure for local political parties and politicians.

6 The Aztec empire ruled from the center and exacted tribute from a wide range of subject tribal states. In a subtle prefiguring of twentieth-century Mexican politics, Aztec rulers began appointing officials to posts that previously had been filled through elections; power grew increasingly absolute before the arrival of the Spaniards. DECENTRALIZING MEXICO 27 The conquistadores followed suit with a model of centralized government crafted in Spain. Localities were to serve the center, as Spain moved indigenous groups into towns to ensure that they would be instructed in religion and pay tribute to the Crown.

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