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Civil Society and Good Governance: (Re-) Conceptualizing the Interface

  • Roy, Indrajit
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    Summary Civil society action is thought to be a prerequisite for good governance, as well as an indicator for it. The assumption of a positive correlation has guided many development interventions. However, considering political synergies, frameworks of accountability and mobilization of communities to claim their entitlements as key elements of how civil society and governance interface, we find this hypothesis to be problematic. Evidence from two contiguous regions in rural north India suggests that where community organizations are assertive, the governance structures and institutions are not necessarily better oriented to their demands. Rather, where such organizations are able to exploit intra-elite conflict and forge alliances with a section of the elite, they are better able to influence service-delivery. However, even this strategy does not help to expand the political spaces available to poor people.

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    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/B6VC6-4RR86VV-2/1/2dc5b8df06db59416da317d2c9dd642f
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    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal World Development.

    Volume (Year): 36 (2008)
    Issue (Month): 4 (April)
    Pages: 677-705

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:wdevel:v:36:y:2008:i:4:p:677-705
    Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/worlddev

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    1. Evans, Peter, 1996. "Government action, social capital and development: Reviewing the evidence on synergy," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 24(6), pages 1119-1132, June.
    2. Lavalle, Adrian Gurza & Acharya, Arnab & Houtzager, Peter P., 2005. "Beyond comparative anecdotalism: lessons on civil society and participation from Sao Paulo, Brazil," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 33(6), pages 951-964, June.
    3. Angell, Alan & Lowden, Pamela & Thorp, Rosemary, 2001. "Decentralizing Development: The Political Economy of Institutional Change in Colombia and Chile," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199242313.
    4. Thorp, Rosemary & Stewart, Frances & Heyer, Amrik, 2005. "When and how far is group formation a route out of chronic poverty?," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 33(6), pages 907-920, June.
    5. Das Gupta, Monica & Grandvoinnet, Helene & Romani, Mattia, 2003. "Fostering community-driven development - What role for the State?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2969, The World Bank.
    6. Krishna, Anirudh, 2001. "Moving from the Stock of Social Capital to the Flow of Benefits: The Role of Agency," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 29(6), pages 925-943, June.
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