Decentralization and Subnational Governance: Theory and Praxis

Publisher:
IGI Global
Publication Type:
Chapter
Citation:
Handbook of Research on Subnational Governance and Development, 2017, pp. 1 - 33
Issue Date:
2017
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A trend towards decentralized systems of government and the strengthening of subnational governance is underway globally. However, decentralization has many different meanings, and it is frequently left undefined, even while it is being implemented. This chapter argues that enhanced understanding of concepts and theories can contribute to improved practice during decentralization reforms, and consequently be of benefit both to governments and their citizens. Drawing on the theoretical, research and public administration literature, an approach is adopted that aims to inform decentralization praxis, that is, the interplay of policy, strategy, implementation and review. The material is used as a foundation for presenting a synthesis-framework for praxis that draws attention to: appreciating the theoretical scope of fiscal decentralization; focusing on the country and its goals; considering the design of the system of multi-level governance; focusing on central and local capacity; and adopting flexibility, supported by feedback mechanisms, in the process of decentralization.
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