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Whittingham Munevar, Maria Victoria (2006) FOR THE PEOPLE, WITHOUT THE PEOPLE DECENTRALIZATION AND GOVERNANCE IN BOGOTÁ, COLOMBIA. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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Cities are the distinctive space for humanity. At the end of the twenty first century, more people will live in urban areas of the developing world than are alive on the planet today. By the year 2020, more than 80 percent of Latin America's population will be living in cities, adding significant pressure to already very unstable systems. The tensions resulting from the contradictions between the values of modernity and the practice of exclusion prevailing in the region have been identified as major threats to its political stability and economic development. In order to contribute to the search for appropriate solutions to the aforementioned problems, this dissertation addresses the relationship between decentralization and governance. A comparative political analysis of the process and impacts of implementing a decentralization reform in Bogotá, the capital of Colombia is presented. Three critical variables of good governance are assessed: participation, equity, and efficiency. Decentralizing reforms marked the political life of the region in the latest years of the twentieth century and the awakening of the new millennium; it was a policy championed by all sides of the political spectrum as the appropriate strategy for enhancing democracy andinclusion, and ultimately in good governance. Good governance refers to the capacity of a social and political system to create the minimum consensus required to organize and act based on a collective will. Evidence provided by this study shows puzzling results. There has been definite improvement in democratic governance, which cannot necessarily be attributed to decentralization, as decentralization in Bogota was not a systematic process of public policy implementation and presented many contradictions and inconsistencies. Nevertheless, this case also indicates that, despite limitations and contradictions, change may occur in an unsystematic manner; but also that increasing the constituents' aspirations without providing the means to fulfill them may widen the gap between the citizens and the government. Previous and new forms of governance coexist in tension and the success or failure of the reform in the future depends, fundamentally, on how the system incorporates them. This study is a contribution to the literature on both decentralization and governance.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Whittingham Munevar, Maria Victoriagovernancemvw@hotmail.com0000-0002-2819-3567
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairPeters, Guy B.bgpeters@pitt.eduBGPETERS
Committee CoChairPicard, Louis A.picard@pitt.eduPICARD
Committee MemberHolzner, Burkartholzner@ucis.pitt.eduHOLZNER1
Committee MemberMiller, David Y.dymiller@pitt.eduDYMILLER
Date: 18 April 2006
Date Type: Completion
Defense Date: 9 February 2006
Approval Date: 18 April 2006
Submission Date: 20 March 2006
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Number of Pages: 350
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Graduate School of Public and International Affairs > Public and International Affairs
Degree: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: decentralization; governance; latin america
Other ID:, etd-03202006-125130
Date Deposited: 10 Nov 2011 19:32
Last Modified: 28 May 2020 21:20


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