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PIA 2528. Governance, Local Government and Civil Society. Overview. Basic Theme: Development management theorists and practitioners need to be careful that their formulas for social and economic change do not do more harm than good. . The Need for Balance.

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PIA 2528

Governance, Local Government and Civil Society


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Overview

  • Basic Theme:

  • Development management theorists and practitioners need to be careful that their formulas for social and economic change do not do more harm than good.


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The Need for Balance

  • A balance exists between the extremes of the command economy and centralized planning on the one hand and the libertarian approach advocated by radical public choice theorists on the other.

  • Throughout, it is not possible to divorce development issues from issues of governance and civil society. Nor can the debate and selection of policy choices be detached from the capacity of institutions to implement policy.


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The Course

  • This course will attempt to define this balance by looking at issues of local government, governance and civil society in Latin America, Eastern Europe, the Middle East, Asia and Africa.


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Course Materials

  • Students in order to fulfill the regional seminar requirement must follow the reading for one of the five geographical areas covered in the course: Latin America, Asia, Eastern Europe, Middle East or Africa.


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Course Materials

  • In order to help you order your thinking, I have noted that the reading covers "governance," (G), “local government," (L) and "civil society" (C). Many readings of the course overlap.

  • At a minimum, each student should read materials in one of the three areas (governance, local government, civil society), and a set of case study materials from a geographical area

  • Students may read in different issue areas from week to week but should be prepared to discuss in one of the three areas defined in the class.


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Course Materials

  • There are no required readings as such. Each individual will have to decide how much and which readings are most important for him or her in any given week. However, participants are expected to do as much of the reading as they each week.

  • Clearly, mastery of the literature will be a major measure of how I assess your class performance. Students are encouraged to form both topical and geographical work groups in order to cover the reading


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Course Materials

  • The basic source of our understanding about micro-politics will be the reading list assigned below. It is lengthy and various. The categories under which it is assigned are somewhat arbitrary and as we go along the re-examination of earlier readings will be essential when we get further into the course.

  • Because of the length of each week's reading assignment, it is essential that students keep up with the reading from week to week. Failure to do so will result in academic "overload" as the course draws to an end.


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Requirements

  • The course will be a mixture of in-class discussions, lectures and paper presentations. Since this is a research seminar, each of you will be presenting a research paper to the class at the end of the semester.

  • Seminar papers should either focus on governance, local government or civil society and may have a conceptual, regional or case study focus.

  • Students are encouraged to use the reading materials assigned in class to prepare their papers but may supplement their reading with library research.


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Course Requirements

For each student registered for the course, there will be three assessed activities. These are:

1. In-Class Discussion - 35% of Grade;

2. Individual research paper and Panel Presentation - 40% of Grade;

3. End of Semester Oral Interview with instructor - 25% of Grade.


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Course Requirements

  • The course will be a mixture of in-class discussions, lectures and paper presentations. Since this is a research seminar, each of you will be presenting a research paper to the class at the end of the semester.

  • Seminar papers should either focus on governance, local government or civil society and may have a conceptual, regional or case study focus.

  • Students are strongly encouraged to use the reading materials assigned in class to prepare their papers but may supplement their reading with library research.


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Course Requirements

  • Panel presentations will take the form of a professional association. Each participant will present his and her paper at a panel and will also serve as a chair or discussant on another panel.

  • The panel assignments will be made during the course of the semester. Additional Information will be provided on assignments by the end of the third week of class.


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Course Requirements

  • Discussion

  • Questions

  • Clarification


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PIA 2528

  • Coffee Break


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Basic Terms

1. Nation

2. State

3. Governance

4. Government


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More Basic Terms

5. Governance

6. Local Government

7. Civil Society

8. Democracy


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The State

  • The state as an analytical concept refers to an idea or set of ideas as to how government relates to society.

  • The state system, by the nineteenth century, had acquired its modern form as a steering mechanism over societal forces and an institutional apparatus with human and structural characteristics.


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The State

  • The contemporary capitalist state makes and influences investment decisions and it is often the mission of the state to sustain conditions in its economic management and coordination conducive to investment, while simultaneously pursuing revenue-consuming distribution policies indispensable to its legitimation.


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The Institutional State

  • The institutional state can be defined as the set of structures and processes;

  • including the public service, the nature of social relationships, and internal organizational dynamics;

  • which—though it evolves over time—is a permanent part of the dynamics of government.


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The Institutional State

  • Formal institutions are organizationally based units which have effective authority over aspects of policy and implementation and

  • are based on formal rules, common values, and standard modes of behavior and regulations that are widely accepted.

  • For the state to serve society, the bureaucracy must see themselves as parts of the institutional system.


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The Institutional State

  • Distorted institutional relationships occur when groups and individuals identify only with their own immediate interests.

  • This disjointed institutionalism, sometimes resulting in corruption, is difficult to change once it is installed. A state, once institutionalized, has a formidable capacity for its own reproduction across time.

  • Often systematic efforts by new regimes to uproot prior forms and build new blueprints over state and society can fail.


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The Local State

  • Democratic stability requires both a strong state and societal strength based upon the values of civil society and democratic institutions imbedded in a wider network of state and social organizations.

  • The "local state" is not synonymous with local government. The former reflects the local control mechanisms of the central authority.

  • The latter reflects a bottom up process of political influence and control based on principles of democratic government.


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Institution Building vs. Nation Building

  • Stable democracies require social strength to maintain a civil society and a bureaucracy that sees itself as part of an institution, as having interests wider than its own organizational or class interests.

  • It is important that "institution building" rather than "nation building" take precedence, particularly in an ideologically divided or a multi-ethnic country.


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Local Governance

  • The state is not as a unitary actor but is made up of human and organizational components which cooperate and compete and which link up with and influence civil society.

  • To repeat: the state is no unitary instrument. Rather, it is a complex system shaped by the integration of political officials, civil servants, external actors, and social, ethnic and racial divisions.


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The Black Box Problem

  • Critics of state analysis complain of the "black box" problem.

  • Rather than reifying the state as a single actor, the argument here is that the state is characterized by both a structural complexity and an institutional fragmentation of the government of the day.

  • Institutional approaches have suggested that it is important to analyze issues of personnel, culture and the psychological influences that circulate within the state and its bureaucracy.


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Review

  • Development management theorists and practitioners need to be careful that their formulas for social and economic change do not do more harm than good.

  • A balance exists between the extremes of the command economy and centralized planning on the one hand and the libertarian approach advocated by radical public choice theorists on the other.

  • Throughout, it is not possible to divorce development issues from issues of governance and civil society. Nor can the debate and selection of policy choices be detached from the capacity of institutions to implement policy.


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Quote of the Week

  • "The policy makers have rational interests- to develop their countries, to improve the condition of their people, to acquire or stay in power, or to steal as much as possible.”

  • Peter Berger, Pyramids of Sacrifice



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