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This book analyses local governance structures in India. It traces historical-intellectual trajectories of participatory governance and how older Western discourses have influenced Indian policymakers. The author demonstrates that participatory governance has a long history in India. While colonial rulers devolved power to accommodate dissenting voices, for independent India, participatory governance was a design for democratizing governance in its true sense. Participation also acted as a vehicle for localizing governance.
At the same time a genealogy of participatory governance in the West and in India and an empirical study of the inclusion of participatory governance mechanisms into India’s polity structure and their development in contemporary India, this book sheds light on the exchange of ideas and concepts through space and time, thus adding to the growing body of literature in the social sciences on ‘conceptual flow’. It will be of interest to political scientists and historians, in particularly those studying South Asia.