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Democratic Rural Development: Leadership Accountability in Regional Peasant Organizations, Development and Change

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  • Fox, Jonathan A

Abstract

Many development analysts assert the importance of democratic social organizations, but few either document or analyse the actual processes of internal democracy. this study examines part of the broader problem of internal democracy. This study examines part of the broader problem of the 'Iron Law of Oligarchy' – the ebbs and flows of leadership accountability over time. Drawing on the history of a Mexican regional peasant organization since 1974, the analysis suggests that different kinds of organizational structures encourage or discourage membership action, but moments of mass direct action in turn shape the ways in which organizational structures actually distribute power. The case analysis shows how the interaction of internal and external factors shaped the balance of power between leader and members at each critical turning point. Participatory subgroups turn out to be the crucial counterweight to concentrated leadership power, mediating relations with the membership and providing alternative sources of leadership. Whether formal or informal, multiple vertical channels and alternative horizontal linkages between membership groups are crucial complements, and sometimes substitutes, to conventional organizational structures.

Suggested Citation

  • Fox, Jonathan A, 1992. "Democratic Rural Development: Leadership Accountability in Regional Peasant Organizations, Development and Change," Center for Global, International and Regional Studies, Working Paper Series qt8tb0q3nr, Center for Global, International and Regional Studies, UC Santa Cruz.
  • Handle: RePEc:cdl:glinre:qt8tb0q3nr
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Fox, Jonathan A, 1994. "The Difficult Transition from Clientelism to Citizenship: Lessons from Mexico," Center for Global, International and Regional Studies, Working Paper Series qt4n4746hk, Center for Global, International and Regional Studies, UC Santa Cruz.
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    Cited by:

    1. Odile Hoffmann & Emilia Velasquez, 1997. "Les organisations paysannes des années 90 au Mexique : le difficile cheminement entre concertation et récupération," Revue Tiers Monde, Programme National Persée, vol. 38(150), pages 409-425.
    2. Das Gupta, Monica & Grandvoinnet, Helene & Romani, Mattia, 2000. "State-community synergies in development : laying the basis for collective action," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2439, The World Bank.
    3. Edwards, Michael & Hulme, David, 1996. "Too close for comfort? the impact of official aid on nongovernmental organizations," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 24(6), pages 961-973, June.
    4. Roberts, Susan M. & Jones III, John Paul & Frohling, Oliver, 2005. "NGOs and the globalization of managerialism: A research framework," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 33(11), pages 1845-1864, November.
    5. Meyer, Carrie A., 1997. "The political economy of NGOs and information sharing," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 25(7), pages 1127-1140, July.

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