Who Speaks for the Poor?
Conference Room, Centre For Policy Reseach, Dharam Marg, Chanakypuri
By Dr. Jeffery Hammer, Charles and Marie Robertson Visiting Professor in Economic Development, Princeton University
Venue: Conference Hall II, Center for Policy Research, Dharma Marg, Chanakyapuri, New Delhi
Abstract: A common fear about allowing decentralized decision making is that the poor and the vulnerable will be subject to either "elite capture" or the "tyranny of the majority". Therefore, agents of higher levels of government are needed to provide them protection against these forces. Using a survey intended to be a baseline for a local government support project in Karnataka, the paper attempts to shed light on this issue. It can't answer it, of course, but does raise some doubts about whose interests are most closely aligned with local majorities as well as marginalized groups.