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Decentralized corruption or corrupt decentralization? Community monitoring of poverty-alleviation schemes in Eastern India

By René Véron, Glyn Williams, Stuart Corbridge and Manoj Srivastava


Democratic decentralization and community participation often stand at the center of an agenda of “good governance” that aims to reduce corruption and increase the state’s accountability to its citizens. However, this paper suggests based on empirical studies on the Employment Assurance Scheme in rural West Bengal that the strength of upward accountability (especially to political parties) is as crucial as downward accountability to communities. When these vertical accountabilities are weak, horizontal accountability structures between local civil society and officials can mutate into networks of corruption in which “community” actors become accomplices or primary agents

Topics: DS Asia, HC Economic History and Conditions, JQ Political institutions Asia
Publisher: Elsevier
Year: 2006
DOI identifier: 10.1016/j.worlddev.2005.11.024
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Provided by: LSE Research Online
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