The past two decades have seen an enormous increase in academic and policy attention to, and engagement with, governance at the sub‐national and local levels. Yet, our understanding of the conditions that enable local governments to deliver services to citizens, reduce poverty, be inclusive and responsive, bridge cleavages in divided post‐conflict societies or represent citizen interests to higher levels of authority remains limited.
Drawing on different perspectives, the articles contained in this IDS Bulletin take a fresh look at how local governance ‘really’ works and how it could become more accountable, effective and legitimate to support development that favours poor and marginalised people. Extending the boundaries of prevailing debates on methodological and conceptual issues, civil society, political and power relationships, and the challenges of decentralisation in (post)‐conflict settings, the authors offer an outlook on taking forward the work on localising governance and designing policies that help improve its performance.
This article comes from the IDS Bulletin 45.5 (2014) Introduction – Localising Governance: An Outlook on Research and Policy