Author: Rajesh TandonRanjita Mohanty/Publisher: SamskritiYear: 2004Language: EnglishPages: 158ISBN/UPC (if available): 8187374136
The potential of civil society in influencing governance has gained currency in academic and policy debates in the recent times. This becomes particularly relevant in an old democracy like India where the state has not been able to meet the need for water, shelter, education, and as recent events show even the food requirement of a large number of people, but where a democratic framework of the state provides space and freedom for people to engage in collective action to question the state, to demand a revision in policy, to implement the laws which are so elaborately codified in the constitution, and to improve the functioning of its institutions. This makes the interface between civil society and governance in India somewhat different from countries which share a different political, economic and social context. This book seeks to explore this interface in a context where democracy has travelled some distance but at the same time economic and social inequalities of various kinds persist to create a great divide among its people. With empirical case studies drawn form various regions of India and focusing on issues of public policy, accountability and local governance, the book shows how civil society actors are being able to influence governance positively, as well as their limitations which inhibit the impact of this interface. The conceptual and practical implications of civil society and governance interface unravel the issues which any one interested in the debates about democracy and development would find interesting.The book will be of interest to those engaged in research and teaching and people responsible for policy formulation and execution, those who are mobilizing people to demand their rightful share form the state ad those who are engaged with the state in a more collaborative mode to enhance the equality of governance.