People's Planning

Kerala, Local Democracy and Development

T.M. Thomas Isaac, Richard W. Franke


LeftWord Books, New Delhi, 2021

Language: English

403 pages

5.5 x 8.5 inches

Price INR 595.00
Book Club Price INR 416.00
INR 595.00
In stock

In 1996, the state of Kerala launched possibly the world’s most extensive and successful experiment in decentralization. The campaign mobilized over 3 million of Kerala’s 30 million people and resulted in bottom-up development planning in all of its 1,052 villages and urban neighbourhoods.

This book details the background of the campaign, traces its stages, assesses problems and successes, and evaluates concrete results and reforms. It tells a powerful story of mass mobilization and innovation, achieved by overcoming bureaucratic opposition and rooting out corruption and cynicism.

Considering the theoretical and applied significance of the campaign — both in the context of India’s development since Independence and the international debates on decentralization, civil society, and empowerment — this study provides invaluable lessons for sustainable development worldwide.

Vijay Prashad speaks to Kerala’s Finance Minister Thomas Isaac about the upcoming legislative elections in Kerala, courtesy of Peoples Dispatch.

T.M. Thomas Isaac

T.M. Thomas Isaac is the Minister of Finance of Kerala, an office he previously served from 2006 to 2011. Author of numerous academic papers and books, he was Professor at Centre for Development Studies, Thiruvananthapuram. During his tenure as a member of the Kerala State Planning Board, he was in charge of the People’s Plan Campaign.

Richard W. Franke

Richard W. Franke is Professor Emeritus of Anthropology at Montclair State University, Montclair, New Jersey, USA. He has written extensively on Kerala.