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Fostering civil society to build institutions

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  • Peter Grajzl
  • Peter Murrell

Abstract

We revisit the ubiquitous claim that aiding civil society improves institutional outcomes. In our model, a vibrant civil society initiates public debate in a reform process otherwise dominated by partisan interest groups and politicians. Civil society involvement can alleviate or aggravate adverse selection problems that arise because interest groups are better informed about reform consequences than politicians. Since aid increases the cost to the politician of excluding civil society, it affects institution building. We show analytically, and illustrate empirically, that the welfare implications of fostering civil society critically depend on the specifics of local politics, thereby casting new light on the experience of civil society aid in transition and developing countries. Copyright (c) 2009 The Authors. Journal compilation (c) 2009 The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.

Suggested Citation

  • Peter Grajzl & Peter Murrell, 2009. "Fostering civil society to build institutions," The Economics of Transition, The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, vol. 17(1), pages 1-41, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:etrans:v:17:y:2009:i:1:p:1-41
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    Cited by:

    1. Fenta Mandefro & Mina Noor & Nora Stel, 2012. "Service Delivery and State Legitimacy: Multi-Stakeholder Processes in Water and Sanitation in Ethiopia As defined by the," Working Papers 2012/44, Maastricht School of Management.
    2. Fenta Mandefro & Mina Noor & Nora Stel, 2011. "Service Delivery and State Legitimacy: Multi-Stakeholder Processes in Water and Sanitation in Ethiopia," Working Papers 2011/37, Maastricht School of Management.
    3. Grießhaber, Nicolas & Geys, Benny, 2011. "Civic engagement and corruption in 20 European democracies," Discussion Papers, Research Professorship & Project "The Future of Fiscal Federalism" SP II 2011-103, Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB).

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