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EMERGING DIMENSIONS OF DECENTRALIZATION DEBATE IN THE AGE OF GLOCALIZATION

Sharma, Chanchal Kumar (2008): EMERGING DIMENSIONS OF DECENTRALIZATION DEBATE IN THE AGE OF GLOCALIZATION. Forthcoming in:

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Abstract

In 21st Century the development landscape worldwide is constantly being shaped and reshaped by the simultaneous processes of globalization and localization (collectively called Glocalization). In this scenario the subnational political units are emerging as the principle actors in the global economy. With this the location or site of governance is changing. Thus the need is to situate the debate on decentralization in context of glocalization. This chapter is an attempt to understand ‘why’ and ‘how’ of decentralization─ the questions that have perplexed the policy makers and academicians in the age of glocalization. It has been argued that ‘how decentralization is designed’ depends on ‘why decentralization is being carried out’: Drive determines the design. The chapter reflects upon various dimensions related to the design of decentralization and shows that out of the competing approaches none forms an ‘ideal type solution’. Solution, it is agued, is to be found not in antipodes but in an ‘optimal mix of policies implemented with optimal pace’. Each country however must find its own ‘optimality’ given its tradition, geography, economy, income level, social structure and political choices.

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