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Dreze%20y%20Sen%20-%20Democratic%20Practice%20and%20Inequality%20India

scope for foundational change. Given the dynamism of learning by doing, it is important to resist the pessimism arising from observing particular limitations in the current practice of local democracy. The constructive possibilities over time have to be recognized.
Dreze%20y%20Sen%20-%20Democratic%20Practice%20and%20Inequality%20India - - Highlight Loc. 252-53 | Added on Thursday, August 02, 2012, 09:31 AM
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scope for foundational change. Given the dynamism of learning by doing, it is important to resist the pessimism arising from observing particular limitations in the current practice of local democracy. The constructive possibilities over time have to be recognized.
Dreze%20y%20Sen%20-%20Democratic%20Practice%20and%20Inequality%20India - - Highlight Loc. 252-53 | Added on Thursday, August 02, 2012, 09:31 AM
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basis of the practice of democracy. For one thing, democracy is not the same thing as majority rule, since democratic rights include the protection of freedom of speech and other forms of participation as well as the safeguarding of minority rights. But going beyond that, it is worth noting that the process of public discussion and participatory interaction can make citizens take an interest in the lives of each other.
Dreze%20y%20Sen%20-%20Democratic%20Practice%20and%20Inequality%20India - - Highlight Loc. 479-82 | Added on Thursday, August 02, 2012, 02:57 PM
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basis of the practice of democracy. For one thing, democracy is not the same thing as majority rule, since democratic rights include the protection of freedom of speech and other forms of participation as well as the safeguarding of minority rights. But going beyond that, it is worth noting that the process of public discussion and participatory interaction can make citizens take an interest in the lives of each other.
Dreze%20y%20Sen%20-%20Democratic%20Practice%20and%20Inequality%20India - - Highlight Loc. 479-82 | Added on Thursday, August 02, 2012, 02:57 PM
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such as China, the suppression of political freedoms has often exacted a heavy price.40 Taking the world picture as a whole, there is no evidence of a positive association between authoritarianism and development, even if development is narrowly interpreted in terms of economic growth.41 Furthermore, a broader understanding of development, incorporating the expansion of freedom and social opportunities, points to the wideranging complementarities between development and democracy.42 As far as India is concerned, the basic problem of political marginalization of the underprivileged can hardly be solved by marginalizing them even more by further concentration of political power. The challenge, rather, is to expand the scope of democracy and address the tension identified by Ambedkar through political action and democratic practice.
Dreze%20y%20Sen%20-%20Democratic%20Practice%20and%20Inequality%20India - - Highlight Loc. 458-64 | Added on Thursday, August 02, 2012, 02:53 PM
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such as China, the suppression of political freedoms has often exacted a heavy price.40 Taking the world picture as a whole, there is no evidence of a positive association between authoritarianism and development, even if development is narrowly interpreted in terms of economic growth.41 Furthermore, a broader understanding of development, incorporating the expansion of freedom and social opportunities, points to the wideranging complementarities between development and democracy.42 As far as India is concerned, the basic problem of political marginalization of the underprivileged can hardly be solved by marginalizing them even more by further concentration of political power. The challenge, rather, is to expand the scope of democracy and address the tension identified by Ambedkar through political action and democratic practice.
Dreze%20y%20Sen%20-%20Democratic%20Practice%20and%20Inequality%20India - - Highlight Loc. 458-64 | Added on Thursday, August 02, 2012, 02:53 PM
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As was discussed earlier, not only does there remain remarkable economic and social inequalities, but also as a consequence there are major asymmetries in the opportunities that different sections of the population have to participate in democratic institutions. Corresponding to this uneven distribution of power and influence are systematic biases in public priorities and policy. Elitist biases can be found, for instance, in the orientation of the news media (dominated by middle
Dreze%20y%20Sen%20-%20Democratic%20Practice%20and%20Inequality%20India - - Highlight Loc. 441-44 | Added on Thursday, August 02, 2012, 02:41 PM
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As was discussed earlier, not only does there remain remarkable economic and social inequalities, but also as a consequence there are major asymmetries in the opportunities that different sections of the population have to participate in democratic institutions. Corresponding to this uneven distribution of power and influence are systematic biases in public priorities and policy. Elitist biases can be found, for instance, in the orientation of the news media (dominated by middle
Dreze%20y%20Sen%20-%20Democratic%20Practice%20and%20Inequality%20India - - Highlight Loc. 441-44 | Added on Thursday, August 02, 2012, 02:41 PM
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public scrutiny and censure. For instance, some trade unions in the public sector have tended to block pressures for public scrutiny and sometimes have even helped to dismantle whatever little mechanisms of accountability were in place earlier. This process is one of the chief causes of low accountability in the schooling system, which has played a major part in depriving millions of children of basic education.36 In other spheres of the public sector, too, low standards are often blamed on the fact that government employees have permanent jobs and earn salaries unrelated to performance, and have been comfortably sheltered from any pressure to work, no matter how dissatisfied the public might be.
Dreze%20y%20Sen%20-%20Democratic%20Practice%20and%20Inequality%20India - - Highlight Loc. 345-50 | Added on Thursday, August 02, 2012, 02:11 PM
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public scrutiny and censure. For instance, some trade unions in the public sector have tended to block pressures for public scrutiny and sometimes have even helped to dismantle whatever little mechanisms of accountability were in place earlier. This process is one of the chief causes of low accountability in the schooling system, which has played a major part in depriving millions of children of basic education.36 In other spheres of the public sector, too, low standards are often blamed on the fact that government employees have permanent jobs and earn salaries unrelated to performance, and have been comfortably sheltered from any pressure to work, no matter how dissatisfied the public might be.
Dreze%20y%20Sen%20-%20Democratic%20Practice%20and%20Inequality%20India - - Highlight Loc. 345-50 | Added on Thursday, August 02, 2012, 02:11 PM
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were in place earlier. This process is one of the chief causes of low accountability in the schooling system, which has played a major part in depriving millions of children of basic education.36 In other spheres of the public sector, too, low standards are often blamed on the fact that government employees have permanent jobs and earn salaries unrelated to performance, and have been comfortably sheltered from any pressure to work, no matter how dissatisfied the public might be.
Dreze%20y%20Sen%20-%20Democratic%20Practice%20and%20Inequality%20India - - Highlight Loc. 346-50 | Added on Thursday, August 02, 2012, 02:10 PM
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were in place earlier. This process is one of the chief causes of low accountability in the schooling system, which has played a major part in depriving millions of children of basic education.36 In other spheres of the public sector, too, low standards are often blamed on the fact that government employees have permanent jobs and earn salaries unrelated to performance, and have been comfortably sheltered from any pressure to work, no matter how dissatisfied the public might be.
Dreze%20y%20Sen%20-%20Democratic%20Practice%20and%20Inequality%20India - - Highlight Loc. 346-50 | Added on Thursday, August 02, 2012, 02:10 PM
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stepping-stone towards other forms of democratic participation. Local democracy is also essential as a basis of public accountability, particularly in the context of the need for effective and equitable management of local public services. These services from schools and health centres to fair price shops and drinking-water facilities are often crucial for the quality of life.
Dreze%20y%20Sen%20-%20Democratic%20Practice%20and%20Inequality%20India - - Highlight Loc. 193-96 | Added on Wednesday, August 01, 2012, 11:39 PM
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stepping-stone towards other forms of democratic participation. Local democracy is also essential as a basis of public accountability, particularly in the context of the need for effective and equitable management of local public services. These services from schools and health centres to fair price shops and drinking-water facilities are often crucial for the quality of life.
Dreze%20y%20Sen%20-%20Democratic%20Practice%20and%20Inequality%20India - - Highlight Loc. 193-96 | Added on Wednesday, August 01, 2012, 11:39 PM
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income inequality over a long period suggests a kind of inescapable immutability of inequality which hides the possibility of change and progress through public policy and social action. Indeed, the stationarity of income inequality is often invoked to argue that attempts to achieve greater equality are likely to be futile, and that economic growth (increasing the size of the pie, rather than altering the shares) is the only effective way of raising living standards. But neither the pessimism about altering inequality, nor the faith in economic growth as the only effective means of improving the lot of the deprived, is entailed by the empirical picture of income distribution.
Dreze%20y%20Sen%20-%20Democratic%20Practice%20and%20Inequality%20India - - Highlight Loc. 137-41 | Added on Wednesday, August 01, 2012, 11:31 PM
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income inequality over a long period suggests a kind of inescapable immutability of inequality which hides the possibility of change and progress through public policy and social action. Indeed, the stationarity of income inequality is often invoked to argue that attempts to achieve greater equality are likely to be futile, and that economic growth (increasing the size of the pie, rather than altering the shares) is the only effective way of raising living standards. But neither the pessimism about altering inequality, nor the faith in economic growth as the only effective means of improving the lot of the deprived, is entailed by the empirical picture of income distribution.
Dreze%20y%20Sen%20-%20Democratic%20Practice%20and%20Inequality%20India - - Highlight Loc. 137-41 | Added on Wednesday, August 01, 2012, 11:31 PM
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Democratic practice may indeed be thoroughly undermined by social inequalities, even when democratic institutions are all in place. For instance, even if elections are technically free and fair, their effective fairness may be compromised by the role of money and influence in the electoral process. This also applies to the legal system, which is often far from impartial between different classes (even in the absence of any corruption), if only because richer people can afford better lawyers. At the risk of some over-simplification, the foundations of democratic practice may, thus, be described as facility (functional democratic institutions) , involvement (informed public engagement with these institutions), and equity (a fair distribution of power). The central relevance of equity arises from the fact that a fair distribution of power is a basic indeed fundamental requirement of democracy.
Dreze%20y%20Sen%20-%20Democratic%20Practice%20and%20Inequality%20India - - Highlight Loc. 95-102 | Added on Tuesday, July 31, 2012, 12:29 AM
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Democratic practice may indeed be thoroughly undermined by social inequalities, even when democratic institutions are all in place. For instance, even if elections are technically free and fair, their effective fairness may be compromised by the role of money and influence in the electoral process. This also applies to the legal system, which is often far from impartial between different classes (even in the absence of any corruption), if only because richer people can afford better lawyers. At the risk of some over-simplification, the foundations of democratic practice may, thus, be described as facility (functional democratic institutions) , involvement (informed public engagement with these institutions), and equity (a fair distribution of power). The central relevance of equity arises from the fact that a fair distribution of power is a basic indeed fundamental requirement of democracy.
Dreze%20y%20Sen%20-%20Democratic%20Practice%20and%20Inequality%20India - - Highlight Loc. 95-102 | Added on Tuesday, July 31, 2012, 12:29 AM
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issues come under public scrutiny, and new organizational skills are developed. To illustrate, until recently corruption was not much of a political issue in India. It was accepted as a familiar feature of public life, about which little could be done. In the 1990s, however, corruption became a matter of widespread concern and discussion after a wave of high-profile scams were exposed. Innovative campaigns for public accountability and the right to information sprung up in various parts of the country (Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Orissa, among others), and have gradually developed into a major social movement. This has not, of course, led to an automatic eradication of corruption (far from it), but the issue is at least on the political agenda
Dreze%20y%20Sen%20-%20Democratic%20Practice%20and%20Inequality%20India - - Highlight Loc. 75-80 | Added on Tuesday, July 31, 2012, 12:27 AM
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issues come under public scrutiny, and new organizational skills are developed. To illustrate, until recently corruption was not much of a political issue in India. It was accepted as a familiar feature of public life, about which little could be done. In the 1990s, however, corruption became a matter of widespread concern and discussion after a wave of high-profile scams were exposed. Innovative campaigns for public accountability and the right to information sprung up in various parts of the country (Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Orissa, among others), and have gradually developed into a major social movement. This has not, of course, led to an automatic eradication of corruption (far from it), but the issue is at least on the political agenda
Dreze%20y%20Sen%20-%20Democratic%20Practice%20and%20Inequality%20India - - Highlight Loc. 75-80 | Added on Tuesday, July 31, 2012, 12:27 AM
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