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Title: Social Capital of Elected Representatives and welfare Implementation in Decentralised Democracies: A Case Study of Karakulam Panchayat, Thiruvananthapuram District, Kerala
Authors: Rahul, S.
Keywords: School of Social Work
Bino Paul
Social Capital
Decentralised Democracies
Issue Date: 2015
Publisher: TISS
Abstract: Research Objectives : Identify the type and nature of social-capital that exists and evolves in a decentralised democracy • Examine the human capital of elected representatives in decentralised democracy • Examine content, context and scope of socio economic welfare in a decentralised democracy • Examine the linkage between social capital, human capital and welfare in a decentralised democracy. Rationale of the Study The panchayat raj system is the central in planning and implementation of the welfare and developmental programs in the country. Despite the similar availability of resources, structure and capabilities the performance of panchayaths varies widely across the country. Hence the factors contributing to this difference in welfare has to be identified and explained in detail. Lot of academic research has empirically measured welfare in assessment of institutions and structures and has used a variety of indicators for the same. “..confusion persists concerning the relationship between commonly used welfare indicators and wellestablished theoretical formulations.” (Slesnick, 1998) The history of welfare measurement ranges from Utilitarian tradition, which generally considered economic aspects as the sole indicator of welfare, Level of Happiness measurement by Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (Williams, 2013) Human Development Index which considered both social and economic aspects for measuring welfare and development and to the recent development where different forms of capitals(financial, human, social, cultural and produced) were identified and the relation with welfare (Bourdieu, 1986) Various studies have tried to assess/evaluate panchayats across the country on various grounds. Government of India traditionally was assessing panchayats based on expenditure pattern. At present government is using devolution index for assessing panchayats. The devolution index which was used recently considered framework, finances, functionaries, functions, capacity building and accountability. (Alok, 2012-13) Devolution Index never considers the results produced by the panchayats it focuses on procedures. The official assessment (for eg: Devolution index) concentrates mainly on the financial aspects and in the recent index developed focuses on the human capital elements. The aspect of welfare which is one of the major objectives of panchayats is not studied objectively to evaluate panchayat. More over the planning and implementation of welfare programs in a panchayat depends on a number of factors and hence the general welfare of people. These basic factors which affect the welfare of people also have to identified and studied. The networks, formal and informal relations and the hierarchical relations were not at all taken into consideration. Hence social capital plays a major role in welfare performance of decentralised democratic systems. The present study is located in Karakulam Gramapanchayat in Thiruvanahtapuram district Kerala in and the elected representatives of the panchayat from 1994 are being enumerated. The rationale for selection of state of Kerala is the consistent performance of the state in the area of decentralization and welfare at national level (Devolution Awards for States) The rationale for selection of Karakulam Gramapanchayat is for two reasons first, it is one of the best panchayats in both state and national level and second the presence of Grameena Patana Kendram in which has been established under the peoples planning campaign program in the state. (Kerala, 2006) (Vellimangalam, 2007) (Service, 2010) Now the study focuses on the relation between social capital of the elected representatives and the welfare of the community. The study also considers social capital formation of panchayat as an institution in the community and its role in welfare of the community. The rationale for studying social capital in relation with welfare in Kerala is due to following reasons. Kerala has a strong coalition politics system even at panchayat level and the relations an elected representatives has in the panchayat determines how the welfare will be implemented and distributed. Hence the concept of social capital in studying welfare of a panchayat becomes detrimental. The social capital theory proposes a bottom up approach for development and it forms the spirit of decentralization itself. “ Analysts looking at social capital in the developing world have demonstrated that social capital can make a difference to economic growth rates and household welfare” (Krishna, 2002)The author also explain that social capital will address the socio economic problems which arises in a community and also caters for better governance. (Krishna, 2002) The present study focuses on the social capital of elected representatives and its relation to welfare of the community. “In addition to high levels of social capital, the analysis shows, there also needs to be an appropriate mediating agency, which activates the stock of social capital and makes it more productive.” (Krishna, 2002)Those specialized agents should have specialized knowledge for making use of the social capital which exist within the society. (Krishna, 2002) Hence the basic unit of study will be the elected representatives and panchayats as a unit. The elected representatives are the selected members who can access the stock of existing social capital and make use of it for the welfare of the community.
Appears in Collections:M.Phil.

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5_Table of Contents.pdf49.8 kBAdobe PDFView/Open
6_Acknowledgements.pdf40.92 kBAdobe PDFView/Open
7_List of Tables.pdf55.58 kBAdobe PDFView/Open
8_List of Figures.pdf25.29 kBAdobe PDFView/Open
9_List of Abbreviations.pdf37.36 kBAdobe PDFView/Open
10_Summary.pdf51.18 kBAdobe PDFView/Open
11_Chapter 1.pdf98.86 kBAdobe PDFView/Open
12_Chapter 2.pdf439 kBAdobe PDFView/Open
13_Chapter 3.pdf550.47 kBAdobe PDFView/Open
14_Chapter 4.pdf748.89 kBAdobe PDFView/Open
15_Chapter 5.pdf237.06 kBAdobe PDFView/Open
16_Bibliography.pdf68.89 kBAdobe PDFView/Open
17_Appendix.pdf1.07 MBAdobe PDFView/Open

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