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Article Review


The term decentralization forms a great portion of some of the most important analyses with regards to political science. Within the discipline of political science, the study on governments is one of the broadest topics. Analysis of government is...Read More


~Posted on Mar 2018

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The term decentralization forms a great portion of...

The term decentralization forms a great portion of some of the most important analyses with regards to political science. Within the discipline of political science, the study on governments is one of the broadest topics. Analysis of government is done differently from one setting to another. Decentralization is one of the most common tools through which this analysis takes place. Generally, the term decentralization is used to refer to the redistribution of authority and administration within a defined society. Although decentralization is an important topic within the broader discipline of political science, the importance of its study is felt in other disciplines such as management science, law, technology, economics, and group dynamics. In political science and other related topics, decentralization is defined as the processes through which the various powers, functions, and authoritative figures are dispersed from a central authoritative point or location. The main aim of this paper is to conduct an extensive analysis with regards to an article on decentralization. The review will incorporate a critique on the different strengths and weaknesses that exist in decentralization and the impact this has on the effectiveness of government.

            The article under review throughout the course of this paper is authored by Dennis A. Rondinelli. The title of the article is Government Decentralization in Comparative Perspective: Theory and Practice in Developing Countries. The article was published by Sage Publications on behalf of The International Institute of Administration Sciences. Although it was published in 1980, there are article continues to have an impact on the society to this day. The author – Dennis A. Rondinelli - is one of the most celebrated professors with regards to International Relations and Development Planning studies. A professor in Syracuse University, Dennis has presented a wealth of information with regards to decentralization. Here, information about the various practices shaping it up and the impact of its practice within the governmental setting has been dealt with extensively.

            In the introduction section, the author has begun by looking at the need to decentralize and why various administrations embrace this practice.  Developing nations have been utilized by the author in presenting important information with regards to management and development planning. The international assistance agencies have also been employed in the analysis of the impact of decentralization on the various management functions. Here, decentralization has been presented as being an important element through which the various developing nations and international assistance agencies attend to the responsibilities presented in planning and management. The author argues that decentralization has shifted from being a mere analytical tool to a necessity with regards to effectives. Developing nations and the international assistance agencies are now expected to not only embrace, but also integrate and enhance the activities and principles shaping up decentralization.

            The author goes on to present two main arguments through which nations and international organization embrace decentralization. The third world countries are utilized in the discussion of the reasons behind decentralization. The governing powers in the various third world countries are presented as being on the frontline in embracing decentralization due to the fact it impact on the various benefits of growth. The author has argued that the governments in the third world countries require decentralization so as to effectively spread and accelerate the benefits presented by growth. Here, the author has presented decentralization as a necessity in governance within the third world setting. Within the third world setting, the author has analyzed decentralization as a means through which the diverse regions in the various heterogeneous countries are effectively integrated. According to the author, the effective integration of regions within the various third world settings is dependent on the nature and level of decentralization embraced. So important is decentralization in this integration that the level of effectiveness experienced therein is dependent on how the governing authority embraces and utilizes the various principles and regulations shaping up decentralization. Within the heterogeneous countries, there are different factors that affect effective decentralization. The author has presented important information with regards to the challenges posed by these factors and how decentralization addressed each of the major challenges presented therein.

            The third world countries are defined through their economic challenges as well as the poverty levels. Details about what can and should be done so as to make life better within the various third world countries have been the background of many studies. The author presents decentralization as one of the tools through which development is not only instituted, but also enhanced in third world countries. According to the author, it is necessary to embrace decentralization within the third world country settings so as to enjoy the benefits that come with regional integration.

            There are different challenges presented in decentralization. The challenges differ from each other with regards to the nature and level of impact they have on the overall effectiveness of decentralization. The activities of the various international assistance organizations on developing countries form one of the platforms through which the analysis has taken place. The author has presented factual information with regards to the growth and effectiveness of the various activities within the various developing countries. The United States Agency for International Development USAID is one of the institutions that have been utilized in the course of the article. The article has conducted a comparative analysis with regards to the effectiveness of centralized and decentralized governance systems. Here, the author employs the activities of USAID in various third world countries to compare the effectiveness presented in centralized and decentralized governance systems. The centralized governance system is presented as being less effective due to a number of reasons. Within the centralized governance systems, there is room for corruption and the governance usually ends up benefiting a few individuals in a project that was set to benefit a variety of individuals.

            Some of the most important management functions under analysis throughout the course of the paper are decision making and planning. As the author looks at the various benefits presented in decentralization, there is a wealth of information presented in the impact of decision making and planning in public administration. The author has presented one of the major way of experiencing efficiency in public administration as being governance through decentralization. Through decentralization, the nature and level of efficiency experienced in decision making is increased. Here, the scope of decision making is widened while increasing the number of heads being brought together to think the various decisions through. 

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