In 1996, the state of Kerala launched possibly the world’s most
extensive and successful experiment in decentralization. The campaign
mobilized over 3 million of Kerala’s 30 million people and resulted
in bottom-up development planning in all of its 1,052 villages and
book details the background of the campaign, traces its stages,
assesses problems and successes, and evaluates concrete results and
reforms. It tells a powerful story of mass mobilization and
innovation, achieved by overcoming bureaucratic opposition and
rooting out corruption and cynicism.
the theoretical and applied significance of the campaign — both in
the context of India’s development since Independence and the
international debates on decentralization, civil society, and
empowerment — this study provides invaluable lessons for
sustainable development worldwide.