Public Service Delivery and Empowerment
Edited by Anil B. Deolalikar, Shikha Jha and Pilipinas F. Quising
Chapter 11: Rights, accountability and citizenship: India’s emerging welfare state
This chapter examines India’s recent experiment with building rights-based welfare architecture. At its heart is a project to transform the state through the reform of service delivery systems and so give citizens new entitlements and spaces to place claims on the state. This relates to two major policy debates: the pros and cons of a rights-based approach to social welfare and the use of social accountability instruments to improve service delivery. India’s move toward a rights-based welfare approach has its origins in three sociopolitical shifts: the emergence of civil society movements focused on changing state–citizen relations, the expanding role of the judiciary in interpretations of social policy, and the growing salience of the political view that the recent surge in economic growth and turn to the markets has not seen an expansion of inclusion. This view gained ground with the unexpected election victory of a political coalition led by the Congress Party in 2004 and its reelection in 2009. Inclusive growth was the electoral mantra of this coalition.
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