Rights for the voiceless : the state, civil society and primary education in rural India
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Political Science.
Richard M. Locke.
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When and how do public institutions work effectively on behalf of marginalized citizens? The Indian government has enacted a number of policies for universal primary education, and yet the extent and quality of implementation varies significantly across regions. Why, operating under the same national policy framework, democratic institutions and administrative structures, do some public agencies in India implement policies more effectively than others? This dissertation identifies the mechanisms behind policy implementation through a series of sub-national comparisons and nested case studies carried out in three north Indian states-Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh. While much scholarship emphasizes the design of formal institutions, my study highlights the importance of informal bureaucratic norms, unwritten yet widely observed rules within the state that guide how public officials behave and relate to citizens. The study find that agencies governed by deliberative norms-these are norms that encourage bureaucrats to work collectively to solve problems, bend official rules and promote civic participation-implement policies more effectively than agencies that operate in a legalistic fashion, adhering strictly to formal rules and procedures while discouraging citizen engagement. These findings are drawn from more than two years of field research, including over 500 interviews and focus group discussions, participant observation within public agencies and primary schools, and village-level ethnography. The study of policy implementation in India sheds critical light on how public institutions function in practice and relate to citizens on the ground, and offers new theoretical insights on the relationship between governance and well-being in developing democracies.
Thesis (Ph. D.)--Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dept. of Political Science, 2013.Cataloged from PDF version of thesis.Includes bibliographical references (pages 238-250).
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Political Science.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology