Access to public provisions is one of the key determinants of people’s wellbeing. Local state, being responsible for various essential public provisions, is an important unit of analysis. Poorest households may be interacting only with this layer of the state. Therefore, how local state is institutionally structured on the ground needs to be examined so as to unveil their impact on policy outcomes. Local state’s capacity to implement the policies, directed by the central government, could be different in various countries depending on the socio-political arrangements, in general. This capacity also may vary for different sectors, in particular. From an institutional perspective, on the one hand, how this capacity may be malleable to the societal forces of market and other civil society elements, and the persons who control these non-state institutions is important to be studied. On the other hand, how the practices of policy implementation may be shaping the society, reinforcing the institutions needs to be examined. In both cases, the key parameter for the evaluation of institutional capacity should be its ability to give ‘voice’ to the poor people.
China and India began the modern state building efforts in 1950s. These countries have similarities in kinship hierarchical structure. But, the political arrangements of governance are strikingly different. How these configurations bring about particular outcome is not examined comparatively. Such comparative analysis can show how local states matter to policy outcomes and people’s wellbeing, despite different contexts.
|Keywords:||Rural Institution, Local Government Capacity, China, India, Public Provision|
PhD Student, Department of Social Policy, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK
Institute of Rural Management, Mumbai, Anand, India
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