Centralization, Decentralization and Recentralization in Pakistan: A Case Study of the Rise and Ultimate Demise of Devolution Plan 2000
Despite the nearly universal acceptance of the maxim “institutions matter”, disagreements prevail with respect not only to which sorts of institutional arrangements are most conducive to fostering growth and effective government and what countries can or should do in order to get “the right institutions” in place, but also to the origins and determinants of institutional change per se. This article seeks to contribute to the debates concerning institutions, institutional change and development through a case study of the introduction, implementation and ultimate defeat of the World Bank-supported decentralization reforms in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province of Pakistan. Promulgated under the rubric of Devolution Plan, the decentralization reforms culminated in subverting provincial government’s autonomy in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province over key political and administrative issues at the grassroots. However, intent on regaining its devolved powers in anticipation to come to grips with its dwindling political clout at grassroots levels, the provincial government pursued an organized and sustained campaign of introducing a raft of amendments to the North West Frontier Province Local Government Ordinance 2001. Many of these contentious amendments proved so insidious that they not only gradually undermined the newly established system of local self-governance but ultimately precipitated its dismantlement altogether. The findings offer implications for the New Institutional Economics’ conception of institutional change upon which contemporary development policy and praxis hinge.
Acemoglu, D., Johnson, S. & Robinson, J. A. (2005) Institutions as a fundamental cause of long-run growth, Handbook of economic growth, 1, pp. 385-472.
Acemoglu, D. & Robinson, J. (2008) The role of institutions in growth and development, Commission on Growth and Development Working Paper, No. 10 (Washington, DC: World Bank Publications), p. 135, available at: https://openknowledge.worldbank.org/handle/10986/28045 (March 14, 2020).
Andrews, M. (2013) The limits of institutional reform in development: Changing rules for realistic solutions (United Kingdom: Cambridge University Press).
Baimyrzaeva, M. (ed.) (2012) Institutional Reforms in the Public Sector: What Did We Learn? (United Kingdom: Emerald Group Publishing Limited).
Burki, S. J. & Perry, G. (1998) Beyond the Washington consensus: institutions matter (Washington, DC: World Bank Publications).
Campbell, J. L. (2004) Institutional change and globalization (New Jersey: Princeton University Press).
Campbell, J. L. (2010) Institutional reproduction and change, In: Glenn, M., Campbell, J., Crouch, C., Pedersen, O. K. & Whitley, R. (eds.) The Oxford handbook of comparative institutional analysis (United Kingdom: OUP Oxford), pp. 87-116.
Chang, H. J. (2002) Kicking away the ladder: development strategy in historical perspective (London: Anthem Press).
Chang, H. J. (2006) Understanding the relationship between institutions and economic development, Some key theoretical issues, Revista de Economía Institucional, 8(14), pp. 125-136.
Chang, H. J. (2007) Institutional Change and Economic Development: Introduction, In: Chang, H. J. (ed.) Institutional Change and Economic Development (Tokyo: United Nations University Press), pp. 1-14.
Chang, H. J. (2007) Stranger than fiction? understanding institutional changes and economic development (Tokyo: United Nations University Press).
Crawford, G. & Abdulai, A. G. (2009) The World Bank and Ghana's Poverty Reduction Strategies: Strengthening the State or Consolidating Neoliberalism?, Labour, Capital and Society/Travail, capital etsociété, 42(1/2), pp. 82-115.
Doner, R. F. (ed.) (2010) Explaining Institutional Innovation: Case Studies from Latin America and East Asia (New York: Social Science Research Council).
Dunning, T. & Pop-Eleches, G. (2004) From transplants to hybrids: exploring institutional pathways to growth, Studies in Comparative International Development, 38(4), p. 3.
Evans, P. (2004) Development as institutional change: the pitfalls of monocropping and the potentials of deliberation, Studies in comparative international development, 38(4), p. 30.
Gorges, M. J. (2001) New institutionalist explanations for institutional change: A note of caution, Politics, 21(2), pp. 137-145.
Grindle, M. S. (1997) The Good Governance Imperative: Human Resources, Organizations and Institutions, In: Grindle, M. S. (ed.) Getting Good Government: Capacity Building in the Public Sectors of Developing Countries (USA: Harvard University Press), pp. 3-30.
Government of NWFP (2001) The North-West Frontier Province Local Government Ordinance 2001, NWFP Ordinance No. XIV of 2001 (Law Department, Government of NWFP).
Hall, P. A. & Taylor, R. C. (1996) Political science and the three new institutionalisms, Political studies, 44(5), pp. 936-957.
Kiely, R. (1998) Neo liberalism revised? A critical account of World Bank concepts of good governance and market friendly intervention, Capital & Class, 22(1), pp. 63-88.
Kingston, C. & Cabellero, G. (2009) Comparing Theories of Institutional Change, Journal of Institutional Economics, 5(2), pp. 151–80.
Knight, J. (1992) Institutions and social conflict (United Kingdom: Cambridge University Press).
Mahoney, J. & Thelen, K. (2010) A theory of gradual institutional change, In: Mahoney, J. & Thelen, K. (eds.) Explaining institutional change: Ambiguity, agency, and power (United Kingdom: Cambridge University Press), pp. 1-37.
Mezzera, M., Safiya, A. & Sairah, Y. (2010) Devolution row: An assessment of Pakistan’s 2001 Local Government Ordinance, Report for the research project: The ‘Political Economy’ of State-building–The Pakistan Case Study (Hague: Netherlands Institute for International Relations).
Mkandawire, T. (2009) Institutional Monocropping and Monotasking in Africa, Democracy, Governance and Well-Being Programme, Paper No. 1 (Geneva: United Nations Research Institute for Social Development), pp. 1-27.
Miller-Adams, M. (2002) The World Bank: new agendas in a changing world (London: Routledge).
North, D. C. (1990) Institutions, institutional change and economic performance (United Kingdom: Cambridge university press).
North, D. C. (1991) Institutions, The Journal of Economic Perspectives, 5(1), pp. 97-112.
Paracha, S. A. (2003) Devolution Plan in Pakistan: Context, implementation and issues (Budapest, Hungary: Open Society Institute), pp. 1-71.
Pejovich, S. (1999) The effects of the interaction of formal and informal institutions on social stability and economic development, Journal of Markets and Morality, 2(2), pp. 164-181.
Peshawar High Court (2007) Faridullah Khan, Teshil Nazim Lakki Marwat vs. Province of NWFP through Chief Secretary Government NWFP Peshawar and Five Other Respondents, Writ Petition No. 664/2006, In: Writ Petitions, Volume-III, Pages 897-1402 (Peshawar High Court), pp. 1093-1101.
Portes, A. (2006) Institutions and development: A conceptual reanalysis, Population and Development Review, 32(2), pp. 233-262.
Portes, A. (2012) Institutions and Development: A Conceptual Reanalysis, In: Portes, A. & Smith, L. D. (eds.) Institutions Count: Their Role and Significance in Latin American Development (California: University of California Press), pp. 1-23.
Rodrik, D. (2000) Institutions for high-quality growth: What they are and how to acquire them, Working paper No. 7540 (National bureau of economic research).
Rodrik, D. & Subramanian, A. (2003) The primacy of institutions, Finance and development, 40(2), pp. 31-34.
Rodrik, D., Subramanian, A. & Trebbi, F. (2004) Institutions rule: the primacy of institutions over geography and integration in economic development, Journal of economic growth, 9(2), pp. 131-165.
Rodrik, D. (2006) Goodbye Washington consensus, hello Washington confusion? A review of the World Bank's economic growth in the 1990s: Learning from a decade of reform, Journal of Economic literature, 44(4), pp. 973-987.
Roland, G. (2004) Understanding institutional change: Fast-moving and slow-moving institutions, Studies in Comparative International Development (SCID), 38(4), pp. 109-131.
Tang, S. (2010) A general theory of institutional change (London, New York: Routledge).
Williams, D. & Young, T. (1994) Governance, the World Bank and liberal theory, Political Studies, 42(1), pp. 84-100.
Williamson, C. R. (2009) Informal institutions rule: institutional arrangements and economic performance, Public Choice, 139(3-4), pp. 371-387.
Williamson, O. E. (1981) The economics of organization: The transaction cost approach, American journal of sociology, 87(3), pp. 548-577.
Williamson, O. E. (1985) The economic institutions of capitalism (New York: The Free Press: A Division of Macmillan, Inc.).
World Bank (1989) Sub-Saharan Africa: From Crisis to Sustainable Development: A Long-Term Perspective Study (Washington D.C.: World Bank).
World Bank (1997) World Development Report 1997: The State in a Changing World (New York: Oxford University Press, World Bank).
Yoo, D. & Steckel, R. H. (2010) Property rights and financial development: The legacy of Japanese colonial institutions, No. 16551 (National Bureau of Economic Research).
It is a condition that the authors assign copyright or license the publication rights in their articles, including abstracts, to Institute for Local Self-Government Maribor. This enables us to ensure full copyright protection and to disseminate the article, and of course Journal, to the widest possible readership in print and electronic formats as appropriate. Authors retain many rights under the Institutes' right policies, which can be found at journal.lex-localis.press. Authors are themselves responsible for obtaining permission to reproduce copyright material from other sources.