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Centralization versus local autonomy: Stalemate in village development in a politically sensitive region

Authors
Journal
Journal of Rural Studies
0743-0167
Publisher
Elsevier
Publication Date
Volume
11
Issue
2
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1016/0743-0167(95)00011-b
Disciplines
  • Political Science

Abstract

Abstract Much rural and regional development literature treats centralization of the state as an obstacle to development. Proper use of the term ‘centralization’ demands that students of rural development adopt the conceptual distinction, frequently employed in political science analysis, between centralization/decentralization of the state and the state's strength/weakness. An Israeli case study, making use of this distinction, shows that centralization combined with weakness leads not to control, but to the mutual frustration of the state and village communities. While each side is capable of blocking the other's attempts to achieve its objectives, neither is able to receive from the other the positive inputs it requires to meet its own goals.

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