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Democracy And Transparency In The Indian State

Author: Prashant Sharma
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1317623959
Size: 25.21 MB
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The enactment of the national Right to Information (RTI) Act in 2005 has been produced, consumed, and celebrated as an important event of democratic deepening in India both in terms of the process that led to its enactment (arising from a grassroots movement) and its outcome (fundamentally altering the citizen--state relationship). This book proposes that the explanatory factors underlying this event may be more complex than imagined thus far. The book discusses how the leadership of the grassroots movement was embedded within the ruling elite and possessed the necessary resources as well as unparalleled access to spaces of power for the movement to be successful. It shows how the democratisation of the higher bureaucracy along with the launch of the economic liberalisation project meant that the urban, educated, high-caste, upper-middle class elite that provided critical support to the demand for an RTI Act was no longer vested in the state and had moved to the private sector. Mirroring this shift, the framing of the RTI Act during the 1990s saw its ambit reduced to the government, even as there was a concomitant push to privatise public goods and services. It goes on to investigate the Indian RTI Act within the global explosion of freedom of information laws over the last two decades, and shows how international pressures had a direct and causal impact both on its content and the timing of its enactment. Taking the production of the RTI Act as a lens, the book argues that while there is much to celebrate in the consolidation of procedural democracy in India over the last six decades, existing social and political structures may limit the extent and forms of democratic deepening occurring in the near future. It will be of interest to those working in the fields of South Asian Law, Asian Politics, and Civil Society.

Neoliberalism And The Transforming Left In India

Author: Ritanjan Das
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1351743325
Size: 30.63 MB
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West Bengal has often been perceived as somewhat of an aberration in the wider context of a rather chaotic Indian democracy, as the Left Front (spearheaded by the Communist Party of India-Marxist, CPIM) demonstrated a rare instance of political stability, decisively winning seven consecutive democratic elections from 1977 to 2006. Its development record has also been substantial, with a focus on land reforms, the panchayati-raj institution, and an agriculture centric development agenda. This book presents a reappraisal of the political economic history of the CPIM/Left Front regime against the backdrop of the Indian reform experience. It examines two distinct areas: the conditions that necessitated the regime to engineer a transition from an erstwhile agricultural-based growth model to a more pro-market economic agenda post-1991, and the political strategy employed to manage such a transition, attract private capital and at the same time sustain the regime’s traditional rhetoric and partisan character. In order to develop a more textured understanding of the recent political developments in West Bengal, the author applies a historically nuanced and inductive political-economic analysis, which draws on published materials, and primary material such as government documents and interviews (with bureaucrats, political activists, members of the intelligentsia and ministers). A valuable contribution to the ongoing debate in the literature on the drifts underway with the Indian Left and India’s economic transformation post-1990s, this book will be of interest to academics in the field of Political Science, Government, Political Economy and South Asian Studies.

Everyday State And Politics In India

Author: Sailen Routray
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1351692100
Size: 12.66 MB
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The Kalahandi district in the state of Odisha in Eastern India is regarded as an iconic region of underdevelopment, and is often perceived to be the ‘Somalia’ of the country. It is also the site of a large number of governmental interventions. This book focuses on processes of governance in Odisha, and provides an ethnographic account of the changing forms of governmental actions in Kalahandi by analysing the implementation of WORLP (Western Orissa Rural Livelihoods Project), a new generation watershed development project. The book also shows the morphings of the forms of the state on the ground, and the ways in which it is perceived by the agents and objects of statist actions. Arguing that changes in the institutions and practices of the state in India over the last three decades are better understood through the conceptualisation of state-fabrication, rather than of state-formation, the author describes the governmental tactics related to emergent modes of governmental action. The book identifies an increasing convergence in the everyday practices of governmental and non-governmental organisations, and the growth of ‘the social’ as a terrain and object of governmental actions, as two important effects of the process of deployment of these tactics. It argues that the vernacular sphere of toutary is a key domain of sociality that frames the perceptions and actions of people related to the state in Odisha. As a domain, toutary is populated by social agents, called touters; toutary can be understood as the interstitial zone between state and society shaped by the increasing penetration by the state into society through social technologies. By providing an alternative analysis of state and politics in India, this book adds to the literature surrounding the everyday state by illuminating recent changes in state-society relations. It will be of interest to academics in the field of Political Science, Public Policy, Development Studies, Social Anthropology/Sociology, Social Work, and South Asian studies.

Public Access To Information For Development

Author: Victoria L. Lemieux
Publisher: World Bank Publications
ISBN: 1464808805
Size: 30.19 MB
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With more than 100 right to information (RTI) laws—also called freedom of information or access to information laws—now in place globally, the groundwork has been laid to advance more transparent, accountable, and inclusive governance as a pathway to poverty reduction and economic development. This guide explores the historical development of RTI laws, the factors that drive passage and effective implementation of these laws, the operation of the laws, and the impact of these laws in different country contexts and sectors, as well as the challenges of measuring the contribution of RTI laws to development outcomes. Public Access to Information for Development: A Guide to the Effective Implementation of Right to Information Laws is based on two years of research studying how RTI has been implemented in countries in different regions and with varying income levels. The research has aimed to develop a theoretical framework by which to identify the drivers of effective implementation of RTI laws and to support measurement of effective implementation; the outcomes are discussed. This guide grapples with questions such as the following: • What does it mean to have effectively implemented an RTI law? • What aspects of a law have to be operational before it can be said to have been effectively implemented? • What other factors are most critical to the effective implementation of RTI laws? • Why does effective implementation of RTI matter?