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Decentralization. What Level of decentralization within Government Institutions Is Needed for a State to Become Democratic - Research Paper Example

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This paper seeks to the level of decentralization required within government institutions to enhance democracy in states. Democracy and decentralization is very essential in every state, for numerous reasons…
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Decentralization. What Level of decentralization within Government Institutions Is Needed for a State to Become Democratic
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Decentralization. What Level of decentralization within Government Institutions Is Needed for a State to Become Democratic

Download file to see previous pages... Private investors and the sector in general may still access some of these services, but non-profit earning and collective goods require funding and delivery by sub-national government units if any of these are to be available. Secondly, research indicates that top down and highly centralized service delivery is cumbersome, expensive, slow, and inflexible to new information, as well as prone to political bias. Third, consistent incapacity and collapse of governments, patterns that are common in education, marketing, and sanitation, highlight the untapped local capacity in taking collective actions and making collective choices. Lastly, past research and studies indicate that for democracy to thrive, it must have foundation in preparatory and local self-governing institutions. Decentralization of power, with emphasis on government institutions, improves the democracy of those institutions. Therefore, the main problem that democracy and decentralization seek address is central state planning and centrally administered bureaucracies. According to critiques of central state planning, administrations that adopt this form of administration suffer from potentially destructive and inefficient methods of allocating resourcesii. There are three assertions used to justify these claims. The first argument is that centrally administered bureaucracies lack place and time knowledge in designing and implementing programs and policies that truly reflect the real preferences and needs of the people. Secondly, based on principles of control and command, states differ qualitatively from markets (based on exchange and competition) and voluntary organizations (based on altruistic motivation measures). From these perspectives, states do not have the reach and flexibility to provide some particular services and goods, especially those that require large information. The last argument suggests that inadequate incentives and unchecked authority (highlighted in promotion rules, salaries, hiring, and so forth may encourage rent-seeking behaviors by officials from the governmentiii. The main case for advocating for democratic decentralization is the assertion that a highly decentralized state apparatus will have more exposure, and thus more responsive and sensitive to local aspirations and needs. Proponents argue that decentralization will create a system of governance that will be more accountable and effective to the local population. Decentralization essentially means more than the downward delegation of authority. Essentially, it implies a system of governance where the local citizens have the right to hold local public officials accountable through collective actions, elections, and other democratic means. Different scholars have researched on the topic of decentralization in the past, including Johnson Craig from the Rural Policy and Environment Group Overseas Development Institute, Sheila Rai, an assistant professor at the at University of Rajasthan in India. Others are Camille Cates Barnett from the Research Triangle Institute, Robert Pringle from The Wilson Quarterly, Jonathan Rodden from Comparative Politics, Maria Escobar-Lemmon from Publius, and R. A. Ayee from African Studies Review, among others. The main area of focus for these scholars has been the positive and negative effects of decentralization, especially democratic decentralizationiv. Jonathan Rodden in “Comparative Federalism and Decentralization: On Meaning and Measurement" and "Fiscal Decentralization and Federalism in Latin America" by Maria Escobar-Lem ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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