By Tamara Nair
Journal of International Development
Decentralized governance and its possible shortcomings have been receiving increased attention in development discourse. However, there still remains a dearth of empirical data highlighting such pitfalls. Drawing on in-depth interviews and literature reviews, this paper explores the extent of decentralized development planning at the grassroots level. Using the state of Kerala, India as a case study, I explore how local government institutions, specifically those in areas of disadvantaged communities, might operate in a manner that questions its ability to enable communities to become effective participants, despite long running institutional arrangements that have been set up to promote just that.