v14_2003d - Journal of Public and International Affairs ,...

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Unformatted text preview: Journal of Public and International Affairs , Volume 14/Spring 2003 Copyright 2003, the Trustees of Princeton University http://www.princeton.edu/~jpia 3 C ENTRALISM AND D ECENTRALIZATION IN U NITARY S TATES : A C OMPARATIVE A NALYSIS OF P ERU AND S ENEGAL J. Tyler Dickovick J. Tyler Dickovick is a Ph.D. candidate at the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Princeton University (dickovck@princeton.edu). Since the 1980s, countries around the developing world have come under increasing international and domestic pressure to decentralize governance. Yet many central governments have resisted decentralization while adopting the rhetoric necessary to please donors. Representative of this trend are Peru and Senegal, neither of which has capitulated with regard to decentralization. How have these countries resisted growing pressures for decentralization, and why? This article aims to puncture the myth that decentralization has taken hold across Latin America and Sub-Saharan Africa and offers alternative explanations for the observable empirical outcomes. A structured comparison demonstrates that the party systems and state bureaucracies are crucial to the management of fiscal relations in these two countries. This empirical evidence suggests three major policy recommendations for international bodies seeking to promote decentralization: 1) requiring the financial co-participation of central governments; 2) limiting central government discretion over social funds; and 3) tightly specifying concepts of decentralization to ensure programmatic compliance in policy reforms. 1 2 I NTRODUCTION Since the 1980s, countries around the developing world have come under increasing international and domestic pressure to decentralize governance. International donors have pushed countries to give local governments greater voice in public policy and greater access to fiscal resources. Yet even as international agencies have exerted considerable leverage over such economies in other policy areas, many central governments have resisted decentralization while adopting the rhetoric necessary to please donors. Representative of this trend are Peru and Senegal, neither of which has capitulated with regard to decentralization. Peru has retained one of the most centralized polities in the world, twisting the objectives of its much-touted social fund to further reinforce central control of the national fiscus. Senegals experience with decentralization has been more checkered; while it has increased fiscal transfers, the country has not significantly devolved political power or authority from the center to the localities. How have these countries resisted growing pressures for decentralization? Why?...
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This note was uploaded on 02/01/2012 for the course POLS 494 taught by Professor Garymoncrief during the Fall '11 term at Boise State.

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v14_2003d - Journal of Public and International Affairs ,...

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