Tawa Lama, Stéphanie. 2023. “The De-Democratization of Urban Local Governance.” Law School Policy Review & Kautilya Society.

Centre de Sciences Humaines is pleased to announce, Stéphanie Tawa Lama, CSH Head Researcher of “Documenting Democracy: History, Politics, Citizenship” and CNRS Research Director (Political Science) at the Centre d’Etudes Sud-Asiatiques et Himalayennes (Cesah – EHESS/CNRS) has written a blog entitled “The De-Democratization of Urban Local Governance.” published by the Law School Policy Review & Kautilya Society, on 4 December 2023.

The blog can be found here: https://lawschoolpolicyreview.com/2023/12/04/the-de-democratization-of-urban-local-governance/

Abstract: The 73rd and 74th Constitutional Amendment Acts (CAA) of India, hailed for their intent to democratize local governance, offered promises of expanded political participation, reserved seats for marginalized groups, and envisioned citizen engagement through ward committees. Three decades on, a sobering reality emerges. While elections became regular, subsequent reforms introduced restrictive criteria for candidacy, delayed elections, and even introduced non-elected bodies like the Special Purpose Vehicles (SPVs) under the Smart City Mission. This erosion of democratic ideals, epitomized by curtailed political participation and diminished collective control over local governance, marks a stark contrast to the original vision of deepening democracy. This analysis calls for renewed attention to the de-democratization of urban local governance in India.

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