Local Democracy and Development

Nowadays, many members of the academe are arguing on where the idea of decentralized planning and governance originated and what are the reasons behind this particular government model. The book “Local Democracy and Development – The Kerala People’s Campaign for Decentralized Planning”, written by T. M. Thomas Isaac and Richard Franke, focuses on the effects and outcomes of the IMF/World Bank decentralization model specifically in third world countries. Some experts see that the decentralization model is just a component of the neo-liberal plan to make third world states deteriorate in order to privatize the particular state’s assets.

The authors investigate use the Indian State of Kerala as a basis of their study on what are the consequences of a different kind of decentralization development. The book describes more than the experiences of T. M. Thomas Isaac on his involvement on the design and implementation parts of the campaign. The authors provide a detailed explanation on the Kerala decentralization campaign. Kerala is famous for the past events that the said Indian state has gone through social mobilization on several aspects of the community like education, health care, and the process of distributing food to the people.

Kerala is also renowned for launching basic structural transformations like land reforms. The state is again noticed when a movement called “People’s Campaign for Decentralized Planning” was initiated with the goal of empowering local governments to be more ‘black and white’ on their planning and encourage more participation. This movement commenced on 1996 until 2001. The author gives a detailed account on the procedures concerned and also the consequences that arise due to the campaign for decentralized planning.

The book provides a highly structured narrative on the decentralization progression in Kerala including its evolution from a small scale to a huge mass movement. The model of decentralized planning in Kerala is considered to be a way on how to oppose the privatization and globalization procedures that are supported by the IMF/World Bank. This particular decentralization model is implemented in a democratic process on which there are major participation of the community on each parts of the campaign.