Localizing Governance in India  book cover
1st Edition

Localizing Governance in India

ISBN 9780367889630
Published December 12, 2019 by Routledge
312 Pages

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Book Description

Participatory governance has a long history in India and this book traces historical-intellectual trajectories of participatory governance and how older Western discourses have influenced Indian policymakers. While colonial rulers devolved power to accommodate dissenting voices, for independent India, participatory governance was a design for democratizing governance in its true sense. Participation also acted as a vehicle for localizing governance.

The author draws on both Western and non-Western theoretical treatises and the book seeks to conceptualize localizing governance also as a contextual response. It also makes the argument that despite being located in different socio-economic and political milieu, thinkers converge to appreciate localizing governance as perhaps the only reliable means to democratize governance. The book aims to confirm this argument by reference to sets of evidence from the Indian experience of localizing governance.

By attempting a genealogy of participatory governance in the West and in India, and an empirical study of participatory governance in India, the book sheds light on the exchange of ideas and concepts through space and time, thus adding to the growing body of literature in the social sciences on ‘conceptual flow’. It will be of interest to political scientists and historians, in particularly those studying South Asia.

Table of Contents


Section A: Participatory and Civic Engagement: theoretical roots

1. Participatory and civic engagement in governance: Western theoretical roots

2. Participatory and civic engagement in governance: the non-western theoretical roots

Part A: The Indian tradition: Mahatma Gandhi and localizing governance

Part B: The Chinese tradition: Mao Zedong and commune

Part C: The African tradition: Julius Nyerere’s Ujamaa

Section B: Participatory and Civic Engagement: empirical roots in India

3. Historical Trajectories of Localizing Governance

4. Localizing Governance: Earlier Efforts

5. Constitutionalizing Governance at the Grassroots

6. Localizing Governance at the Grassroots: the Unique Indian Experiments in West Bengal, Kerala and Delhi



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Bidyut Chakrabarty is Professor in Political Science at the University of Delhi, India. He is the author of numerous books on Indian Politics and Gandhi. His most recent monograph is Ethics in Governance in India, also published by Routledge (2016).