Negotiating Universalism in India and Latin America: Fiscal Decentralization, Subnational Politics and Social Outcomes

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This book explores how vertical inter-governmental political and fiscal bargains and horizontal variation in political, social and economic conditions across regions contribute to or undermine the provision of inclusive and sustainable social policies at the subnational level in Latin America and India.

The question of how to advance universal social rights while reducing territorial inequalities has been a central dilemma for Latin America and India. After several decades of ambitious decentralization reforms in both regions, the balance between local accountability versus centralized planning remains a theoretical and empirical problem in need of systematic exploration. The chapters in this volume incorporate both federal and decentralized unitary states, pointing to common political tensions across unitary and federal settings despite the typically greater institutionalization of regional autonomy in federal countries. The contributors examine the territorial dimension of universalism and explore, in greater and empirical detail, the causal links between fiscal transfers, social policies and outcomes, and highlight the political dynamics that shape fiscal decentralization reforms and the welfare state.

The chapters in this book were originally published as a special issue of Regional & Federal Studies.

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Taylor & Francis Ltd
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