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Elected Leaders, Community and Development: Evidence on Distribution and Agency from a Case in India


  • Dolly Daftary


Although democratic decentralisation or community development by elected leaders is hypothesised to broaden development, there is little evidence on just how elected leaders make distributional decisions and far less on how communities in turn shape their leaders' decisions. This study combines structural equation modelling with ethnography in India to investigate how leaders of elected local bodies called panchayats distribute development. While quantitative findings reveal that democratic decentralisation mitigates elite capture, ethnography gives insight into the role of political brokers in brokering development for votes, widening distribution to non elite groups.

Suggested Citation

  • Dolly Daftary, 2010. "Elected Leaders, Community and Development: Evidence on Distribution and Agency from a Case in India," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 46(10), pages 1692-1707.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:jdevst:v:46:y:2010:i:10:p:1692-1707
    DOI: 10.1080/00220388.2010.492867

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    Cited by:

    1. Fischer, Harry W., 2016. "Beyond Participation and Accountability: Theorizing Representation in Local Democracy," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 86(C), pages 111-122.
    2. Dolly Daftary, 2016. "Development in Post-liberalization India: Marketization, Decentralization and Informalization in Gujarat," The European Journal of Development Research, Palgrave Macmillan;European Association of Development Research and Training Institutes (EADI), vol. 28(4), pages 690-704, September.

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