Devolution and Decentralization

Luiz Carlos Bresser-Pereira

in Democracy and Public Management Reform

Published in print August 2004 | ISBN: 9780199261185
Published online November 2004 | e-ISBN: 9780191601507 | DOI:
 Devolution and Decentralization

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Besides decentralization to executive agencies and social organizations, public management reform involves devolution to sub-national units of activities and the corresponding fiscal resources to finance them. It involves also making public managers more autonomous and more accountable. In synthesis, decentralization–delegating authority to lower levels–is crucial to managerial public administration. Decentralization is a public management strategy, but devolution is a political decision with managerial consequences. Decentralization is often decided top-down and is a strategy for increasing the head-offices’ capacity to achieve proposed objectives, but devolution is usually a response to demands for more local or regional autonomy to which government officials in the central government reluctantly accede.

Keywords: decentralization; delegation; devolution; managerial autonomy; regional autonomy; sub-national units

Chapter.  2313 words. 

Subjects: Politics

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