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Citizen Participation and Political Accountability for Public Service Delivery in India

Harry Blair

Journal of South Asian Development, 2018, vol. 13, issue 1, 54-81

Abstract: A state’s accountability to its citizens for public service delivery constitutes a central component of the democratic polity. But how to assure this accountability? The answer lies in the linkage between citizens and some combination of elected political leaders and those they direct to provide the services. In India over recent decades, a host of mechanisms has emerged to provide that linkage, some of them quite potent. Building on the World Bank’s 2003 principal–agent model of long and short routes to state accountability, this article argues for a distinct third civil society route. It then explores the paths these three routes can take and their potential effectiveness in providing citizens a number of institutional mechanisms to hold political leaders and public service providers accountable, improve service delivery, empower poor people and ultimately enhance well-being.

Keywords: Accountability; citizen participation; India; local governance; public service delivery (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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