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Participation and power: poor people's engagement with India's Employment Assurance Scheme

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


‘Participation’ has become an essential part of good developmental practice for Southern governments, NGOs and international agencies alike. In this article we reflect critically on this shift by investigating how a ‘participatory’ development programme — India's Employment Assurance Scheme (EAS) — intersects with poor people's existing social networks. By placing the formalized process of participation in the EAS within the context of these varied and uneven village–level relationships, we raise a number of important issues for participatory development practice. We note the importance of local power brokers and the heterogeneity of ‘grassroots’ (dis)empowerment, and question ideas of power reversals used within the participatory development literature

Topics: HC Economic History and Conditions, JQ Political institutions Asia
Publisher: Blackwell Publishing for the Institute of Social Studies, The Hague
Year: 2003
DOI identifier: 10.1111/1467-7660.00300
OAI identifier:
Provided by: LSE Research Online
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