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3 - Leadership Selection Rules and Decentralized Governance

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  18 February 2019

Jonathan A. Rodden
Stanford University, California
Erik Wibbels
Duke University, North Carolina
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This chapter reviews the literature regarding the effect of the institutional rules for selecting leaders at the subnational (regional and local) level. There are two key arguments that the chapter seeks to advance. First, that the choice of leader selection rules is highly consequential for efficiency, responsiveness and representation. Therefore, leader selection rules should receive far greater attention from students of decentralization than has been the case to date. Indeed, understanding the choices that countries make of the rules for selecting leaders at the subnational level should be viewed as an integral part of the study of the effectiveness of decentralized programs and reform policies, writ large. Second, that the choice of one leader selection rule over another---e.g., direct elections versus appointments---always entails tradeoffs. In other words, each selection rules has pros and cons and the choice between them crucially depends on the objective that the implementer seeks to advance. In the case of leader selection rules, not all good things come together.
Decentralized Governance and Accountability
Academic Research and the Future of Donor Programming
, pp. 40 - 60
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2019

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