ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

Articles by Bhaskar ChakrabartiSubscribe to Bhaskar Chakrabarti

Resolving Disagreements in Panchayats

Based on the long-term ethnographic research in four districts during a political transition in West Bengal and analysing narratives of disagreements between elected representatives and local bureaucrats in their gram panchayats, it is argued that the interface between the elected members and the bureaucracy is dialectical and is influenced by external as well as local contexts. Conflicting demands from stakeholders as well as factors like conflict, violence, elite control, and resistance from certain sections of the society could result in such disagreements. While there are instances of political “deep probe” in local bureaucracy, resultant decisions are often unpredictable and can come through unforeseen mechanisms. Informal mechanisms of resolution of disagreements, often associated with corruption, are either challenged by the counterpublics or give rise to an altered form of corruption to adjust itself to the process of political change.
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