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Democracy and Public Management ReformBuilding the Republican State$
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Luiz Carlos Bresser-Pereira

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9780199261185

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2004

DOI: 10.1093/0199261180.001.0001

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Devolution and Decentralization

Devolution and Decentralization

(p.213) 16 Devolution and Decentralization
Democracy and Public Management Reform

Luiz Carlos Bresser-Pereira

Oxford University Press

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

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