(Wednesday, 20th May 2020)
Title : Political Clientelism and Development
I will discuss recent theoretical and empirical work on political clientelism: how it operates and its consequences for targeting and composition of development programs. I will draw in particular on my own ongoing work in the context of West Bengal, a state in eastern India.
(Thursday, 26th May 2022)
Title : Reassessing Decentralization
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Decentralized governance was widely adopted in developing countries two to three decades ago in the hope of incorporating local information, enhancing accountability and democratic participation in the delivery of public services to the poor and needy. Evaluations of this experience have highlighted problems of corruption, elite capture and clientelism that have undermined targeting success of decentralization. This, along with advances in information technology, suggest the need to consider suitable reforms including enhanced monitoring and recentralization initatiatives which reduce scope for discretion of local officials. This talk will provide an overview of recent research pertaining to these topics, besides emerging new questions that deserve more attention.