The Rules of the Intergovernmental Game in East Asia: Comparing Decentralization Frameworks and Processes

Smoke, P.
Decentralization in East Asia and the Pacific: Making Local Government Work June 2005, The World Bank.

Although political forces have largely driven decentralization in East Asia and most countries face similar reform challenges, their decentralization
experiences are far from uniform. Countries have adopted different intergovernmental structures,
proceeded at uneven paces, and adopted a wide range of implementation strategies. This diversity is not surprising, as East Asian countries vary greatly
in geographical size, population, history, economic structure, and political and institutional dynamics, all of which influence the form that decentralization
can and should take. This chapter provides expanded context for the analysis presented in chapter 1 and lays a foundation for later chapters. After reviewing the origins of decentralization, it compares the basic intergovernmental frameworks, structures, and processes
evolving in Cambodia, China, Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam.1 The chapter focuses, in turn, on enabling frameworks, the governance environment, fiscal decentralization, and the management and implementation of decentralization reforms.

Wagner Faculty