Aditya Dasgupta is a doctoral candidate in political science at Harvard University. He holds a B.A. from the University of Cambridge and an M.Sc. from the University of Oxford. Before beginning his Ph.D. programme, he worked at the Public Defender Service in Washington, D.C., his hometown. His research interests are the democratisation and political economy of development, with a focus on South Asia. In his free time, Mr. Dasgupta enjoys soccer, tennis, and swimming.
Aditya Dasgupta’s research focuses on understanding the political economy of why India’s National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (NREGS), the largest anti-poverty programme in India’s history, works better in some areas of the country than in others. His project combines quantitative analysis of large amounts of programme-monitoring data with ethnographic fieldwork in selected districts and states in India.
Rethinking clientelism: Politics of service delivery in rural India
19 Apr 2016
Clientelism is often blamed for public service delivery failures in developing countries. While the top-down drivers of political support in exchange for service delivery for specific constituents is well-documented, local grassroots influence and the effect of democratic mobilisation by local communities are less well-understood. This column looks at the value of combining top-down influence with bottom-up community mobilisation to exert stronger pressures on improving anti-poverty programme outcomes.
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