Subnational governance in Ghana –

Does decentralization improve democratic outcomes?

UNU-WIDER researchers in The state and statebuilding in the Global South — international and local interactions project attend an authors’ workshop at the London School of Economics.

Rachel Gisselquist, Daniel Chachu, and Michael Danquah are the authors of a chapter in the forthcoming volume from LSE Press, Global Perspectives on Decentralized Governance: Ways to Create Effective and Democratic Political Systems edited by Jean-Paul Faguet and Sarmistha Pal.

Over two days, the chapter authors will share their draft work and receive feedback. The invited chapter from UNU-WIDER’s researchers—‘Subnational governance in Ghana: How can new comparative assessment help us to better understand what makes decentralised governance work?’—makes an important contribution to the volume. This chapter has emerged from work in the Ghana component of the Statebuilding project.

About the book

The 1970s–80s were full of hope about decentralization’s potential to make government more effective and democratic. But a wave of empirical studies in the 1980s and 1990s cast doubt on the promise of decentralization and by the new millennium, evidence on decentralization’s effects was mixed at best.

On one hand, research has shown that decentralization can improve democratic control and public sector efficiency. On the other hand, decentralized governments are more susceptible to elite capture and clientelism. Under the right conditions, then, decentralized systems produce better outcomes.This volume brings together cutting-edge studies to answer the question, under which conditions?