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Making Decentralization Work: Democracy, Development, and Security

Ed Connerley, Kent Eaton, and Paul Smoke, editors
Making Decentralization Work: Democracy, Development, and Security
ISBN: 978-1-58826-732-0
2010/263 pages/LC: 2009050613
"An insightful collection of essays.... This is an essential work for all who study or attempt to implement decentralization reforms."—James Wunsch, Creighton University

"Provides an excellent overview of how decentralization may both enhance and undermine democracy, development, and security."—Brian Wampler, Boise State University


It is increasingly difficult to find developing countries whose leaders have not debated or implemented some type of decentralization reform. But has decentralization worked? Does it actually help a country to deepen democratic governance, promote economic development, or enhance public security? Under what conditions does it justify the enthusiasm of those who have pushed so successfully for its adoption?

The authors of this volume sift through the accumulating evidence to assess how well decentralization has fared. Focusing on consequences rather than causes, their goal is to inform future interventions in support of decentralized governance by showcasing some of the important trade-offs that it has generated so far.


Ed Connerley is senior adviser for decentralization and local governance in the USAID Office of Democracy and Governance, providing technical leadership and field support for AID missions around the world. Kent Eaton is professor of politics at the University of California, Santa Cruz. He is author of Politics beyond the Capital: The Design of Subnational Institutions in South America and Politicians and Economic Reform in New Democracies: Argentina and the Philippines in the 1990s. Paul Smoke is professor of international studies in the Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service at New York University. His most recent book is Decentralization in Asia and Latin America: Towards A Comparative Interdisciplinary Perspective.    


  • Democracy, Development, and Security as Objectives of Decentralization—K. Eaton and E. Connerley.
  • The Promise of Decentralized Democratic Governance—J.T. Hiskey.
  • Elections and the Development of Local Democracy—G. Bland.
  • Decentralization and Community Empowerment—D. Brinkerhoff and O. Azfar.
  • Decentralization, Authority, and Local Democracy—J. Ribot, A. Chhatre, and T. Lankina.
  • Decentralization and Internal Conflict—J. Siegle and P. O’Mahony.
  • Measuring Decentralization—K. Eaton and L. Schroeder.
  • Implementing Decentralization: Meeting Neglected Challenges—P. Smoke.