Participatory governance has a long history in India and this book traces historical-intellectual trajectories of participatory governance and how older Western discourses have influenced Indian policymakers. 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.

The author draws on both Western and non-Western theoretical treatises and the book seeks to conceptualize localizing governance also as a contextual response. It also makes the argument that despite being located in different socio-economic and political milieu, thinkers converge to appreciate localizing governance as perhaps the only reliable means to democratize governance. The book aims to confirm this argument by reference to sets of evidence from the Indian experience of localizing governance.

By attempting a genealogy of participatory governance in the West and in India, and an empirical study of participatory governance in India, the 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.

chapter |18 pages


part 1|44 pages

Participatory and civic engagement

chapter 1|42 pages

Participatory and civic engagement in governance

Western theoretical roots

part 2|90 pages

Participatory and civic engagement in governance

chapter 2|36 pages

The Indian tradition

Mahatma Gandhi and localizing governance

chapter 3|24 pages

The Chinese tradition

Mao Zedong and the commune

chapter 4|24 pages

The African tradition

Julius Nyerere’s ujamaa

part 3|132 pages

Participatory and civic engagement

chapter 6|24 pages

Localizing governance

Earlier efforts

chapter 8|26 pages

Localizing governance at the grassroots

The unique Indian experiments in West Bengal, Kerala and Delhi 1

chapter |16 pages