An institutional analysis of 'power within' local governance: a Bazaari tale from Pakistan

Khan, Muhammad Salman and Syrett, Stephen ORCID logoORCID: (2022) An institutional analysis of 'power within' local governance: a Bazaari tale from Pakistan. World Development, 154 , 105882. pp. 1-13. ISSN 0305-750X [Article] (doi:10.1016/j.worlddev.2022.105882)

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Power dynamics in local governance have profound implications for the outcomes of processes of political decentralisation within developing countries. Attempts to improve participation and service delivery through strengthened local and regional governance have been frustrated by the inability to understand and transform the relationship between power and formal and informal institutions. Through a theoretically informed empirical study of the relationship between power and institutions within local governance, this paper addresses this challenge through developing the notion of ‘power within’. Analysis of Batkhela Bazaar in the Malakand district in Pakistan reveals distinct fields of power relating to the market, political representation and local administration, and the evolving interactions between institutions within and across these fields. Results demonstrate how these fields of power, and the agents operating within them, actively shape the interaction between formal and informal institutions of local governance in a process of contiguous evolution. Understanding of ‘power within’ prompts revised thinking on how best to harness emergent institutional forms to promote progressive and inclusionary local governance and develop more effective state decentralization programmes.

Item Type: Article
Research Areas: A. > Business School > Centre for Enterprise and Economic Development Research (CEEDR)
Item ID: 34903
Notes on copyright: © 2022. The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd
This is an open access article under the CC BY license (
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Depositing User: Pamela Macaulay
Date Deposited: 29 Mar 2022 14:44
Last Modified: 17 Feb 2023 15:06

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