Edited by Gordon Crawford and Abdul-Gafaru Abdulai
Chapter 26: Democratic decentralization and local development: insights from Moroccos advanced regionalization process
This chapter reviews the evidence on the links between democratic decentralization and local development. It uses the case of Morocco’s Advanced Regionalization Process as a means to illustrate the main arguments, namely that “partial” decentralization reforms seem to be the norm, and that political economy drivers of such reforms serve as the main explanations for the inconclusive evidence when it comes to local development. “Partial” decentralization reform refers to the fact that while the legal framework might give local governments significant autonomy and responsibilities, in reality these same local governments are constrained by resource constraints, very limited fiscal autonomy, and used as bases for clientelism by both centrally-based and local elites. Furthermore, the case study on Morocco provides evidence that devolution reforms are very often mixed up with elements of deconcentration and delegation reforms. Therefore, the precise nature of this mix determines whether decentralization reforms can have a positive developmental impact or not.
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