Bureaucrats, development and decentralisation in India : the bureau-shaping model applied to Panchayati Raj in Karnataka, 1987-91
The thesis has three objectives: to assess the experience of decentralisation in Karnataka to answer questions about the relationship between decentralisation and development; to test the validity of Dunleavy's bureau-shaping model; and to make recommendations about how development planning and administration can be made more effective. The thesis analyses the responses of state government bureaucrats to decentralised rural development planning and administration in Karnataka, South India, from 1987 to '91 within the parameters of Dunleavy's bureau-shaping model's outline of bureaucrats' preferred work conditions. The thesis presents the benefits and short-comings of decentralisation identified by (A)control agency officers and (B)delivery agency officers from different departments and ranks at both state and district levels. The thesis hypothesises that if the distinction drawn between agency types and ranks of officer under the bureau-shaping model holds, delivery agency officers' attitudes to decentralisation should be (1)unrelated to changes in their agencies' programme budgets; (2)closely correlated with rank, with senior (state-level) officers greatly in favour and lower (district-level) officers averse; and (3)similar to those of control agency officers of similar rank. The thesis findings disprove all three hypothesis threads. The analysis concludes with modifications to the bureau-shaping model required to make it fully descriptive of decentralisation in India, and an evaluation of the extent to which a decentralised system of rural development planning and administration can be made more effective. The thesis concludes development needs to bring together two elements: (1)the organised expertise of the bureaucracy and (2)the consent, support and participation of the people. Both democracy and bureaucracy are essential to development. The Karnataka experiment with decentralisation from 1987 to '91 was of a particular type, teaching important lessons.