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

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Changing Structure of Governance in Non-Metropolitan Cities

A Study in Andhra Pradesh

Globalisation has brought forward new modes of governance and technological options to urban local bodies in India in the last two decades. New governance mechanisms inspired by neo-liberal thinking make claims about making cities function better, substantially improving basic infrastructure and public services, and increasing local democratic participation. But a study conducted in two non-metropolitan cities in Andhra Pradesh indicates that the state has promoted public-private partnerships, outsourcing and contracting out in a way that serves private interests rather than social interests. The disparities between poor residents and non-poor residents have increased and caste plays an increased role in decision-making bodies, though through a so-called inclusive participatory approach.

This paper has benefited from comments by an anonymous reviewer, by participants in the workshops held at the University of Hyderabad (March 2009) and at a faculty research lecture in July 2009. At the Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad (December 2009) Loraine Kennedy, Archana Ghosh and Smitha Tambe provided useful comments. The data collection was made possible with the support of several people including research associate Satish C, municipal offi cials Hariskrishna, the then vice-chairman of Tirupati Urban Development Authority and D V Rao of Dr Marri Channa Reddy Human Resource Development Institute as well as activists Nagaraju of the Centre of Indian Trade Unions, Tirupati, and Gangarao of Visakhapatnam.

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