Decentralization in Pakistan: Context, Content and Causes

43 Pages Posted: 8 Jun 2005

See all articles by Ali Cheema

Ali Cheema

Lahore University of Management Sciences

Asim Ijaz Khwaja

Harvard University - Harvard Kennedy School (HKS); Center for Research on Pensions and Welfare Policies (CeRP); Bureau for Research and Economic Analysis of Development (BREAD); National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Adnan Khan

London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE)

Date Written: April 2005

Abstract

This paper provides a description of the recent decentralization reforms in Pakistan under General Musharraf. In the process, we hope to not only highlight major aspects of this reform, but also to analyze the evolution of this reform in historical context in order to better understand the potential causes behind the current decentralization. Analyzing the evolution of local government reforms in Pakistan is interesting because each of the reform experiments has been instituted at the behest of a non-representative centre using a 'top down' approach. The Pakistani experience shows that each of the reform experiments is a complementary change to a wider constitutional reengineering strategy devised to further centralization of political power in the hands of the non-representative centre. We argue here that the design of the local government reforms in these contexts becomes endogenous to the centralization objectives of the non-representative centre. It is hoped that analyzing the Pakistani experience will help shed light on the positive political economy question of why non-representative regimes have been willing proponents of decentralization to the local level.

Keywords: International Development, Law and Legal Institutions, Leadership/Conflict Management, Political Science, Public Management

Suggested Citation

Cheema, Ali and Khwaja, Asim Ijaz and Khan, Adnan, Decentralization in Pakistan: Context, Content and Causes (April 2005). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=739712 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.739712

Ali Cheema

Lahore University of Management Sciences ( email )

D.H.A, Lahore Cantt
Lahore, Punjab 54792
Pakistan

Asim Ijaz Khwaja (Contact Author)

Harvard University - Harvard Kennedy School (HKS) ( email )

79 John F. Kennedy Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
617-384-7790 (Phone)
617-496-5960 (Fax)

Center for Research on Pensions and Welfare Policies (CeRP) ( email )

Via Real Collegio, 30
Moncalieri, Turin 10024
Italy

Bureau for Research and Economic Analysis of Development (BREAD) ( email )

Duke University
Durham, NC 90097
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) ( email )

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Adnan Khan

London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE) ( email )

Houghton Street
London, WC2A 2AE
United Kingdom

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