It is widely assumed that the relationship between governance capacity and decentralization determines the success in governance, but how does this relationship function is largely contested. Does decentralization lead to an improvement in governance capacities, or are certain capacities preconditioned in order decentralization to lead better governance? Relying on an empirical study on Turkish provincial municipalities, the book argues success in decentralization is strongly influenced by the socioeconomic conditions in the province and to a lesser extent by the local government’s capacity. The book provides a novel approach to capacity building practices and decentralization reforms by suggesting that the relationship between decentralization and governance capacity should be addressed not only on the organizational but also on the developmental level. In this way, the book proposes asymmetrical decentralization according to socio-economic development at subnational level for better governance outcomes.
Evrim Tan is a visiting professor in the Public Governance Institute at the University of Leuven, Belgium. His research concentrates on decentralization, local government, capacity building and public management reforms.