Free download: Mehta on state spending and governance in India
The relationship between democracy and good governance is “more tenuous than we like to admit,” says Pratap Bhanu Mehta, President of India’s Centre for Policy Research, in the lead commentary for the new issue of Governance (23.3, July 2010). But Mehta examines one neglected factor that might improve the prospects for good governance: an increase in the scale of government spending.
In India, Mehta argues, increased state expenditure has improved voters’ attention to governmental performance; changed the structure of corruption in beneficial ways; and allowed government to invest in stronger accountability instruments. “A growth in state capacity,” Mehta concludes, “can, to a certain extent, mitigate the ill effects of unaccountable government.” Download Mehta’s commentary for free.