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Localizing Development: Does Participation Work? (Policy Research Reports) 1st Edition

ISBN-13: 978-0821382561
ISBN-10: 082138256X
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Editorial Reviews

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Localizing Development: Does Participation Work? gives us a much-needed comprehensive account of the available empirical evidence and puts it in a coherent perspective. It takes a balanced and sensible approach on many of the controversial issues and provides a valuable guide for further research and policy initiatives. --PRANAB BARDHAN, Professor of Economics, University of California, Berkeley

Finally, a book that takes a hard, empirically grounded, and comprehensive look at donor-led efforts to promote local participatory development. Drawing on an exhaustive selection of cases and aggregate data that range across virtually every sector of development, Mansuri and Rao draw out the complex set of political, social, and institutional variables that shape the prospects for people's participation in development. For scholars, activists, and policy makers interested in promoting more democratic forms of development, this is required reading. --PATRICK HELLER, Professor of Sociology and International Studies, Brown University

Mansuri and Rao give the best existing treatment of the successes and failures of participatory approaches to development. At the heart of this extraordinary study is the recognition of a reality that will be uncomfortable for many: the key challenge of many participatory development interventions is not finding out how best to respond to grassroots pressures, but how to induce them in the first place. Building on a long tradition in political economy they draw attention to the presence of a 'civil society failure' in which, contrary to the claims of optimists, representative voices do not emerge organically. Synthesizing and developing a rapidly growing literature, Mansuri and Rao provide an encyclopedic account of the state of knowledge on top-down attempts to generate bottom-up pressures. --MACARTAN HUMPHREYS, Professor of Political Science, Columbia Universit

About the Author

Vijayendra Rao is senior economist in the research department of the World Bank.
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