Development, Decentralization and Democracy

Exploring Social Capital and Politicization in the Bengal Region

by Robert Thorlind

175 pp.,
NIAS Reports # 42
Available from NIAS Press worldwide

Paperback - 2000, Available
ISBN 978 87 87062 75 6, £13.99

This book explores the controversy in political science surrounding the civil society/social capital paradigm, by studying the performance of decentralized governments in West Bengal and Bangladesh.   Gram panchayats and NGOs provide the focus of the study.

The study intends to determine whether a growth in social capital can explain why decentralized governments seem to be more effective in West Bengal, though both areas decentralized their governments around the same time. The two regions have shared for centuries a common history, civic culture, ethnic identity and language, though religion led to the separation of the regions.

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