Are bureaucratic governments centralized or decentralized

Decentralization as the key to solving structural development problems?

Table of Contents

2.1 Issue
2.2 Method and structure
2.3 Classification of the topic in the current state of research
2.4 List of Abbreviations

3.1 Decentralization - from the "panacea" to the democratization strategy
3.2 The role of institutions in the process of social development
3.3 Decentralization as a reform of the political-institutional system
3.4 Factors for the enforceability of decentralized regulation
3.4.1 Social and natural factors influencing the willingness to decentralize
3.4.2 Political and institutional factors influencing the willingness to decentralize
3.5 "History matters" - a special case in developing countries
3.6 Desired goals and possible effects of decentralization
3.6.1 Objectives
3.6.2 Possible negative effects
3.7 Development through decentralization?

4.1 National framework
4.1.1 Colonial administration tradition (1884-1974)
4.1.2 Post-colonial administrative tradition since independence (from 1975)
4.1.3 Post-colonial administrative tradition since the peace treaty (from 1992)
4.1.4 Economic structure
4.1.5 State structure and the role of parliament
4.1.6 Structure of parties
4.2 International framework conditions - Mozambique in the region

5.1 Why decentralization in Mozambique?
5.2 What form of decentralization for Mozambique?
5.3 The process of decentralization until today
5.4 The actors in the decentralization process
5.5 Factors for the enforceability of decentralized reforms in Mozambique
5.5.1 Social and natural factors influencing the willingness to decentralize Relative strength of regional elites Regional distribution of resources Cultural and natural diversity
5.5.2 Political and institutional factors influencing the willingness to decentralize Strength of the central government Sectoral identity Perception of reality in the institutional system




9.1 Maps
9.2 Interviews
9.2.1 List of interviewed persons
9.2.2 Guideline for the qualitative interviews:

I have to study politics and war so that my sons have the freedom to study mathematics and philosophy. My sons should study mathematics and philosophy, geography, natural history, shipbuilding, navigation, trade and agriculture so that they give their children the right to study painting, poetry, music, architecture, decoration and china.

John Adams, Second President of the United States of America (1789-1797)

2 Introduction

From all countries south1 of the Sahara, Mozambique is the country that has been the most dramatic in the past 30 years2 Has gone through changes. After Mozambique was granted independence as one of the last countries in 1975, the former liberation movement reestablished3 Samora Machel4 an ambitious socialist government program - the aim was a quick and equitable development of the hitherto exploited country. Instead, a civil war broke out, which continued until 1992 with extreme brutality, including against the civilian population5 in all parts of the country.

As a result of economic and political crises, requirements from international donors and growing urbanization, decentralization reforms were initiated in various countries in Sub-Saharan Africa and also in Mozambique at the beginning of the 1990s (see also Chapter 13, Classification of the topic in the current state of research). These were associated with phenomena such as political liberalization and democratization. For the country of Mozambique, political and administrative decentralization became one of the fundamental pillars of state reform. The focus was on the participation of the population in local development and administration on the one hand and improving the functioning of the state apparatus on the other.

As part of my work in the program for decentralization of the German Society for Technical Cooperation (GTZ) in Beira, I got an insight into various areas and aspects of the aforementioned decentralization process in Mozambique and opportunities to exchange ideas with Mozambican and international scientists who are currently dealing with the question of the deal with further development of the country. Will the decentralization process in Mozambique bring the desired poverty reduction and economic development? What does the success of a decentralization process depend on? Are there conditions or situations in a country that favor or negatively influence the outcome? These are all questions that occupy today's discussion (more on this in the course of the elaboration). Since the decentralization process in Mozambique is still young, I cannot answer the question of success or failure, measured in terms of the intended poverty-reducing effect, at this point. For this reason, the focus of this master’s thesis is on various influencing factors, which ultimately enable a prognosis.

2.1 Issue

Mozambique is one of the poorest countries in the world today. The country on the east coast of Sub-Saharan Africa is currently in the Human Development Index ranked 172 (out of a total of 177 countries), with the average life expectancy of the population (43 years) and the illiteracy rate (61% of those over 15 years old) having a negative impact.6 There is a noticeable development gap between north and south and between town and country. The civil war that raged across the country from the time of independence from Portugal in 1975 to the peace treaty of Rome (1992) had a major impact on Mozambique's current level of development.

To solve the structural development problems mentioned and to reduce absolute poverty, the government of Mozambique passed the law on local government bodies on May 19, 2003 (Lei dos Órgãos Locais do Estado) (LOLE). The implementing provisions (Regulamento)7 followed in April 2005. LOLE is at the preliminary end of a series of decentralization reforms, which are intended to create the basis for a transfer of greater administrative, fiscal and political autonomy and responsibility to the provinces and districts as well

on subordinate administrative units. This represents a decentralization process of the former central state, which should involve the village communities and the traditional leaders at the local level in the process of policy making.

Decentralization means shifting decision-making power, responsibility and control of financial and human resources to subordinate, citizen-oriented state levels or independent organizational units. It is therefore a question of a reform of a political-institutional system (Rauch 2001). This reform is intended to increase political participation, achieve a democratization of political and social processes and bring political and administrative decisions closer to the interests of the citizens (Burchardt 2001). Decentralization concepts are based on the assumption that centralized structures represent an obstacle to development (Holtkamp 1993, Rondinelli et. Al. 1983).

In my master's thesis, I will analyze the decentralization process in Mozambique from its inception with a focus on socio-cultural as well as political-institutional influencing factors and their effects on the success or failure of this process. My three hypotheses are:

Thesis 1: The decisive factors influencing the outcome of the decentralization process in Mozambique are the societal structures that have evolved over time, in particular the role of traditional authorities.

Thesis 2: The role of the state, which today, 16 years after the end of the socialist system, can be characterized as centralistic and neo-patrimonial, is another central influencing factor.

Thesis 3: At the levels that acquire decision-making authority as part of the decentralization process (e.g. district administrations, local councils), in addition to basic education, there is a lack of financial and human capacities to guarantee the basic functions of public administration.8

2.2 Method and structure

In order to carry out an analysis of the decentralization process as well as various influencing factors on the result as part of my deductive approach and thus to verify or falsify my theses, I will deal in a first part with the theoretical foundations of my topic complex. Aim of chapter 3.1, decentralization ± from the all-round remedy to the democratization strategy to 3.7, development through decentralization? is to understand the theoretical concept of a decentralization process and to be able to place the decentralization process in Mozambique in a theoretical context. Furthermore, within the framework of this theoretical part, I will present the six influencing factors analyzed below and explain their selection.

The second step is to analyze the framework conditions in Mozambique. For this purpose, I systematically and chronologically examine the administrative traditions, the current economic situation and the party structure. The information obtained here serves as the basis for the following analysis of the decentralization process: After discussing the development of the process and the actors involved, the next step is a detailed analysis of the six socio-cultural and political-institutional factors identified as relevant. Following the factor analysis and the actual final consideration with consideration of the factors discussed, I will go one step further in the last chapter and, as a kind of outlook, address the question raised in the theoretical part about the connection between decentralization and development with regard to the specific case of Mozambique .

In addition to working with relevant literature on the topic, I am concerned with the relevant legal texts and an evaluation of qualitative interviews that I carried out with six people during my stay in Mozambique from May to August 2008, who were on various Levels are involved in the decentralization process in Mozambique.

A list of the people interviewed and the interview guidelines can be found in the appendix.

2.3 Classification of the topic in the current state of research

At the center of my work, the decentralization process in Mozambique, is a complex of topics that is currently subject to permanent change, legal innovations and political reforms. Decentralization processes are initially part of the superordinate subsidiarity principle, according to which the superordinate subsystem or the central government only take on tasks if subordinate subsystems cannot fulfill this task (Rüland 1993).

In contrast to the topicality of the topic in the study area, theoretical considerations have existed within political science with a special focus on developing countries with regard to the superiority of decentralized structures over the centralized systems that represent an obstacle to development since the beginning of development cooperation in the 1950s. In summary, they can be divided into a normative debate (up to the 1960s) and a functional debate (see Chapter 3.1). The most important and most cited articles to date come from Dennis Rondinelli et al. (Decentralization in Development Countries, World Bank, Staff Working Papers, No. 581, Washington DC) from 1983 and by Hans F. Illy and Klaus Schimitzek (Development through Decentralization? Studies on Local and Regional Administration in the Third World) from 1986. Also in the 1980s, the most significant typology of decentralization to date was carried out by Rondinelli (see Chapter 3.1).

Practical experience and the resulting theoretical considerations regarding the implementation and effects of decentralization processes have so far primarily come from Latin America: According to Faust (2002), political and administrative decentralization exacerbates the distribution conflicts caused by a parallelism of democratization and economic structural adjustments and thus makes them more difficult the second generation reforms9. Decentralization and the promotion of federal structures contribute to the implementation of the principle of subsidiarity and thus bring the political decision-making process closer to the citizens concerned at the local level. For numerous cases in Latin America, Faust (2002) also sees an aggravation of the problem of the particularization of politics and a mere shift of the distributional conflicts from the national to the regional and local level. In parts of Latin America, this means a shift to a level where illiberal structures such as corruption and clientelism10 and neo-patrimonialism11 are endemic12 (Faust 2002).

The transfer and implementation of decentralization programs on the African continent, on the other hand, is comparatively new13. It is precisely for this reason that it is extremely interesting to examine what requirements exist here and how these affect - positively or negatively - on decentralization projects. My study positions itself in the consensus of the current state of research: Decentralization measures can therefore only change little in existing political and social conditions and continue to have a chance of success only under favorable context conditions. According to Rdland (1993), this includes "long-lasting political growth processes that strengthen the resource base of the state as a whole, generate social change, organizational differentiation and greater social division of labor." (Rdland 1993: 193) to strengthen local oligarchies, preferably in countries with high levels of socio-economic disparities14, as a "stubborn development blockade". (Rüland 1993: 193). The present study thus deals with a current research question and examines the existing theory regarding factors influencing the outcome of a decentralization process using the example of Mozambique.

The current focus of the political science discussion in Mozambique is on the question of the effects of the decentralization process in relation to the desired reduction in poverty and increased participation of the population at the local level.

2.4 List of Abbreviations

Figure not included in this excerpt

Decentralization: Collective term for political measures that aim to transfer more decision-making authority and responsibility to the lower political levels, usually in order to overcome the traditional, centralized-hierarchical structure of the state administration and to locate the political decision-making processes where the problems to be solved arise.

Lexicon, Federal Agency for Civic Education

3 decentralization

3.1 Decentralization - from the "panacea" to the democratization strategy

Decentralization means the shifting of decision-making power, responsibility and control of financial and human resources to subordinate, citizen-oriented state levels or independent organizational units. It is therefore a question of reforming a political-institutional system (Rauch 2001). This reform is intended to increase political participation, achieve a democratization of political and social processes and bring political and administrative decisions closer to the interests of the citizens (Burchardt 2001). Decentralization concepts are generally based on the assumption that centralized structures represent an obstacle to development (Holtkamp 1993).

An interpretation of decentralization in this form has only existed since the end of the 1990s.

The first significant development policy conception of decentralization in Europe emerged in the 1950s. Decentralization was seen here as a kind of panacea against oligarchically immobile power structures, administrative inefficiency and spatial and social disparities. The term was coined by a Eurocentric school of thought, within the framework of which the western democracies had a kind of model function for the development of the modern state in the former colonies. The key point was the broadest possible dispersion of state power. This vertical dimension of the separation of powers should lead to more political competition (Rüland 1993).

After this first, strong normative decentralization debate neither in the area of Institution building15 was able to record noteworthy successes with regard to socio-economic developments16, state-centric development theories dominated in the 1960s17. The second decentralization debate began in the 1970s (Illy / Schimitzek 1986). In response to the failure of authoritarian development models and the incipient fiscal crisis in many countries, the positive reassessment of international financial institutions was promoted.Their goal: to reduce national government spending to secure debt servicing. Assuming that decentralization is functionally more efficient than centralism, the dismantling of statehood should increase its efficiency by being close to the location, adapting to individual cases and needs, promoting motivation and innovation through greater freedom of choice and shorter distances. In contrast to the normative decentralization debate of the 1950s, the hallmark of this second debate was, in summary, one functional justification for decentralization (Illy / Schimitzek 1986, Rüland 1993).

In response to the debt crisis of the 1980s, the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank developed a so-called "first generation" of structural adjustment measures. The goals were to secure the debt crisis and to dynamize the national economies - this neoliberal economic policy was to be implemented by reducing the influence of the state and a drastic opening of all markets, but the real consequences have been social disorganization and political instability - Latin America was particularly hard hit (World Bank 1997).

The most important guiding concept for decentralization of the eighties was the theory of local fiscal choice: The state influence should be pushed back from the economy through the privatization of public services and companies. As part of this economic approach, Rondinelli, Nellis and Chema developed the one that is still fundamental today on behalf of the World Bank

1. These decentralization measures, some of which were initiated before independence, were the result of the intention to curb the vigor of the independence movements through the establishment of local representative bodies and other political concessions and therefore implied the cooperation of local corrupt elites.
2. The focus on a normative procedure and the orientation towards ideal-typical orientations on Western models of democracy led to a lack of realism in this early decentralization debate.

Classification of decentralization (Rondinelli et al. 1983). A distinction is made here between decentralization according to the type of recipient of the transferred resources and the quality of the transferred competencies:

1. Deconcentration: Outsourcing of administrative units from the headquarters with the aim of forming local authorities of the central administration
2nd delegation: Transfer of public tasks to independent units under state control
3. Devolution: Transfer of tasks, resources and political legitimation to lower levels
4. Privatization: decentralized denationalization of public tasks
(Transfer to the private sector), state control function no longer exists

According to the definition, deconcentration and devolution contain the spatial design elements of decentralization and can make a decisive contribution to regionalization of development if there is political will and assertiveness. In itself, devolution primarily involves strengthening the respective local government as the lowest level of government in a country (Holtkamp 1993, Crook & Manor 2000). Rüland (2003) criticizes the Rondinelli et. al. Great conceptual flexibility propagated in the above distinction. This creates a problematic understanding of decentralization, since “such a broad concept works in the hands of authoritarian regimes through a wide variety of possible interpretations” (Raland 2003: 189).

The forecast fiscal efficiency (see above) was often not feasible. On the contrary: For certain periods of time, decentralization can even result in higher costs for state regulation and lead to a deterioration in the distribution and quality of public services (Fuhr 1995).

Recognizing these failures gave rise to a new reform debate, also known as the Post-Washington ConsensusDz18 called. Here state authority and planning capacities were again emphasized more strongly and new democracies should be strengthened with the help of new institutions, norms and procedures (Burchardt 2001). The local fiscal choice approach (see above) was recognized as being impractical and emphasized that democratization effects do not occur automatically, but rather that traditional political patterns are often reproduced - under changed institutional framework conditions often even with the exclusion of the participation of individual groups (Burchardt 2001).

At the beginning of the 1990s, a more precise definition of the development goals that should be aimed at with the means of decentralization was necessary (Samoff 1990). One answer was, for example, technocratic approaches that deal primarily with the legal and administrative modernization of public administration and are mainly used in Latin America today. Central to this approach is the promotion of small and subordinate political and state units (Burchardt 2001).

The political dimension of decentralization was neglected in these approaches. In participatory approaches, however, these came to the fore: As part of the public choice theory19 the local political area was more in the interest of the debate. By legitimizing local authorities and predicting political processes, political influencing factors and local preferences should be taken into account as efficiency criteria. The theoretical as well as the practical benefit of the participatory approaches results from methodological problems in measuring efficiency (Haldenwang 1994).

As a result, attention was drawn to less economic interpretations and the decentralization of political legitimation was recognized as a central element for the consolidation of the democratic state (Slater 1990). This means expanding decentralization to include a policy approach that assumes that its results are considered to be good governance20 should also emerge from a democratic process of all those involved. Finally, Slater understands decentralization as a democratization strategy that is a means to

- Increase in political participation.
- Democratization of political and social processes.
- Bringing political and administrative decisions closer to the interests of citizens.

The way to achieve these three goals leads through a shift in power - according to the aforementioned principle of subsidiarity, personal performance and self-determination of the individual and the communities are to be promoted, in that state interventions only take place in a supportive manner when the lower hierarchical level is not in a position to provide the necessary Performance (Rüland 1993). As will be analyzed in Chapter 4, I would like to anticipate that Mozambique is about the implementation of a decentralization process with precisely this understanding of theory. Since the relocation of responsibility, resources and decision-making power inevitably involves a reform of the institutional system, the following first looks at the general role of institutions in the process of social development.

3.2 The role of institutions in the process of social development

The importance of the institutional structure in the process of social development is emphasized by both Fuhr (2000) and Rauch (2001) in their respective contributions. Rauch even goes as far as calling the institutions the identifies decisive levers for development. For Fuhr, the readiness of the institutional structure for greater responsibility at the local level is a central element for the success of a decentralization process. In this section I will shed light on the role of institutions in the process of social development in order to be able to apply the knowledge gained to the country of Mozambique in Chapter 5 of this thesis.

As part of the new institutional economy (NIÖ)21 the interest of economists is directed more towards institutional aspects, incentive systems and regulatory mechanisms - the guiding principle "Get the Prices Right" is through "Get the Institutions Right" replaced (Fuhr 2000, Rauch 2001): The development of institutional capacities is still the central starting point in front the implementation of a decentralization program - the impetus for technical innovations is no longer seen as central. A free market alone is not enough for the economic development of a country - authorities, rules and laws are just as important (Rauch 2001).

The question of the role of institutions in the development process does not consist in the question of their relevance, but relates to the type of relationship between the institutional sphere and the economic and social sphere.

The NIÖ assumes that the institutional sphere in a country is largely independent of social development processes. The economic development processes, on the other hand, are assessed as being dependent on social development processes (Rauch 2001). The aim of the NIÖ is therefore to analyze the institutional regulatory and incentive systems that exist in relation to economic behavior and development. In development policy, institutional reforms are the instrument and the improvement of economic performance and living conditions are the target variable (Rauch 2001). The NIO cites the elements of multi-party democracy, decentralization of political and bureaucratic power and privatization as the globally valid answer to the question of "the right" institutional structure (Mummert 2001). The question of the (social and economic) factors influencing institutional design However, according to Rauch, systems remain unanswered. If the direction of action of development or an ahistorical view of institutions is ignored, the real existing institutional systems are not considered in the context of the respective economic mode and social system, but measured against general thought patterns. In fact, according to Rauch, there are different ones Relationships between socio-economic and institutional development:

On the one hand, there is the possibility of institutional development as a result of economic and social development. On the other hand, there is the option of economic and social development as a result of institutional regulation.

Institutional development as a result of economic and social development can arise, on the one hand, as a response to an objective need for regulation: The process of material production development is associated with increasing division of labor and specialization, which leads to the differentiation of the various economic units. This results in the increasing need for regulation and the associated necessity of institutionalizing society. The type and degree of regulation is not only the result of the objective need for regulation, but at the same time the result of the dominant social interests, since institutionalized regulations are never neutral in their effect on social groups - social groups will always try to influence the formation of institutions in their own way (Rauch 2001).

Furthermore, economic and social development can be triggered as a result of institutional regulation as a result of efficiency effects or distribution effects of institutions. With regard to the first aspect, it should be noted that institutional control always has an impact on the socio-economic development of a society.22 The type of institutional control never remains without consequences for the social balance of power and for the distribution of resources and income23 (Rauch 2001).

3.3 Decentralization as a reform of the political-institutional system

If one defines decentralization as the shift of decision-making power, responsibility and control of financial and human resources to subordinate, citizen-oriented state levels or independent organizational units (Rauch 2001), this means that for taking on this decision-making power, responsibility and control of financial and human resources facilities are required at local level that are able to operationalize and carry out the tasks assigned to them, both in terms of staff and the skills of the individual employees; in other words: decentralization means reforming the political-institutional system. These new, decentralized forms of regulation must be enforced by certain social groups against other groups and the real implementation must be designed and supported by these groups. Decentralized actors, who on the one hand want to exercise more power and on the other hand can also use it, are decisive for the success or failure of the decentralization process (Rauch 2001). In the following chapter I will take a closer look at these social conditions, i.e. influencing factors outside the political-institutional system, as well as influencing factors within the political-institutional system.

3.4 Factors for the enforceability of decentralized regulation

"The most important factors include:

the willingness of local officials to support and perform decentralized management functions, the quality of local leadership, the attitudes of local rural people towards government, and the degree to which traditional customs and behavior are compatible with decentralized procedures for planning, decision-making and management . All these are "soft" variables; they are difficult to deal with in a policy or operational sense. "

Rondinelli et al., 1984: 52

According to Rauch (2001), the existence of a detailed concept for implementation is fundamentally important for the potential success of decentralization programs, in which legal and political foundations as well as strong agents for control and coordination are clearly named. Rondinelli et al. (1984) identify "the Effective Design and Organization of Decentralization Programs" (Rondinelli et al., 1984: 57) as a main factor for the successful implementation of decentralization reforms. The elaboration and implementation of such concepts is usually done locally with the support of international organizations of development cooperation24. A fundamental problem arises from the fact that the department responsible for decentralization25 is often not assertive against other, already established departments such as agriculture, health, education etc. The political will (which is expressed, for example, in the willingness of the other ministries to cooperate) is therefore a decisive factor for the enforceability of decentralization programs. In reality it is seldom the case that people voluntarily give up power and control of resources - it would therefore be wrong to assume a unanimous political will for decentralization. The redistribution of power to decentralized bodies is rather a controversial political process and has supporters and opponents at every stage (Rauch 2001). According to Rauch (2001) and Fuhr (2000), the intensity of the political will for decentralization depends on various factors that I will take up in the following and apply them to the example of Mozambique in Chapter 5. The specific indicators that I will use to examine the individual factors will be presented in a direct context in Chapter 5, because at this point I am initially concerned with a transferable and therefore as general as possible grid.

The six factors presented below were selected after assessing their particular relevance. In my opinion, these factors are elements with a central influence, which is reflected in the current discussion in Mozambique (Forquilha 2007a & 2009, Bilério 2007, Canhanga 2007, Cuereneia 2001, Ostheimer & Lalá 2003). The results of qualitative interviews that I conducted with various people involved in the decentralization process also had an influence on my selection (see list of interviewed people in the appendix).

3.4.1 Social and natural factors influencing the willingness to decentralize

Rauch (2001) names the first, non-political-institutional influencing factor on the willingness to decentralize Existence and relative strength of regional elites. Since the local level is exactly the level that is supposed to gain decision-making responsibility through decentralizing measures, it is important that there are actors at this level who want and can handle decentralized control - it is an already existing, traditional one

Leaders, this can have both positive and negative consequences (see also 3.6.1, 3.6.2). On the one hand, traditional leaders have a certain, often inherited, historically determined basis of legitimation among the population. If the local elite behave cooperatively, this can have positive effects on the willingness of the respective communities to decentralize. On the other hand, however, the newly gained power - and now also confirmed by democratic processes such as elections - can intensify existing imbalances.This is to be expected, for example, if the residents of a particular community live spread out over a large area and access to community assemblies cannot be guaranteed in a uniform manner, even spatially. Such a situation can mean that only a small, privileged part of the community can participate in meetings and subsequently also in the exercise of power.

In addition to this spatial distribution of the population, I identify another relevant influencing factor in the area of ​​societal and natural spatial factors: the regional distribution of resources. When the economic base of state revenue is heavily concentrated in the region26, centralist rule is easier to enforce than in countries with regionally evenly distributed economic power. In this case, central administration and, in particular, the redistribution of profits from resources are important in order to prevent regional disparities from increasing. Financial self-sufficiency is only sensible and feasible if regional governments can draw on their own sources of income. The risk of developing regional disparities is lower in this case than in the case of a pronounced concentration of sources of income.

A third decisive influencing factor, which Fuhr (2000) also cites, is that cultural and natural diversity of a country: If a country is highly diverse in terms of cultural and natural aspects, decentralization processes such as its own educational policy or financial administration can further emphasize the will for greater regional independence or differentiation from other regions as well as the perception of actual differences and thus the national unity of one Endanger the country (Rauch 2001). Cultural diversity is understood to mean, for example, migration-induced diversity. It also relates to the endowment of a country with human capital, cultural capital and social capital (Steinhardt 2004). Natural spatial diversity includes aspects such as different landscape units (coast, mountainous region, lowland).

3.4.2 Political and institutional factors influencing the willingness to decentralize

A first political-institutional influencing factor on the willingness to decentralize within a population is Strength of the central government. If it is an efficient national government with recognized strength and an assertive military, the enforceability of factions that advocate a decentralization process according to Rauch (2001) is difficult. If the central state is economically weakened or even bankrupt and is no longer able to maintain its monopoly of power and its legitimation, to control or distribute resources, the will to centralize power and responsibility becomes weaker. In economically fragile states in particular, the impetus for a decentralization process is obvious. In such a case, decentralization is easier to implement, but at the same time the chances of a positive result (i.e. development) are low in the case of a weak central government (Rauch 2001).

Another crucial factor is the sectoral identity: Employees in administration usually have a strong sectoral and professional identity - especially in developing countries, due to the often difficult access to higher education, it is a work environment with acquaintances, former fellow students, etc. In this case, decentralization means decoupling from professional Reference system and subordination to technically underqualified and / or incompetent employees at the local level, which of course can be problematic. Rauch (2001) sees the endeavor to preserve sectoral identity and allocation as a factor that should not be underestimated in favor of a centralized, sectoral-vertical organization.

Finally, Rauch (2001) names them Perception of reality in institutional systems as a decisive factor regarding the enforceability of decentralized regulation. This is about the perception of reality by the upper levels of government - the Levels that hold government power in the centrally organized system. According to Rauch (2001), these central governments regularly state - whether justified or not - that districts or municipalities "are not yet in a position" to be entrusted with tasks and, above all, violence over finances If this is the case, such a situation represents an obstacle to the success of decentralization processes, since the high political levels have to be willing to give up power in order for a decentralization process to begin.

3.5 "History matters" - a special case in developing countries

"History is a clock that people use to tell their political and cultural time of day. It is also a compass that people use to find themselves on the map of human geography. The role of history is to tell a people what they have been, and where they have been, what they are and where they are. The most important role that history plays is that it has the function of telling a people where they still must go and what they still must be. "

Dr. John Henrik Clarke, African Historian

Institutional, social and economic structures do not arise in a "vacuum" - every country and every society has its own past, cultural and political traditions, norms and value systems that have developed over time. It is precisely these structures that form the basis for some of the answers to the question of the adequacy and precise design of a decentralization process in a particular country and its possible outcome.

At this point I would like to mention the facts that I believe are relevant for an overview, with a particular focus on the crucial difference between industrialized and developing countries. Historically, the majority of humanity lived much of their history as hunters and gatherers in decentralized systems. For 99% of the history of their existence, people were predators and tied to the decentralized production of nature for their diet27. Only the great empires like Egypt, China and the Roman Empire interrupted this structure. Centralization was achieved here in the form of power over land, technology, religion and violence. In order to guarantee cohesion in these systems, respect for local traditions and self-government was important to a certain extent. In the course of secularization and the associated increase in the importance of trade relations and capitalism, power and property were increasingly deconcentrated. Independent traders gained influence and became independent of feudal power control. Following the emigration of numerous people to North America in the 16th and 17th centuries and the striving for the greatest possible political, religious and economic freedom, the Federalist Papers28 For the first time, the separation of powers was recorded as the best way to preserve freedom (Fuhr 2000).

Fuhr (2000) observes similar tendencies on the European continent: In the 19th century, for example, the power of Prussia was rebuilt after the victory. Due to the way of life, hunters can never fall back on larger supplies. Since nature produces decentrally, the hunters are dependent on changing locations depending on the season and the weather to obtain food. The end of large-scale game hunting societies is estimated to be around 10,000 BC. Dated (beginning: 2.5 million years BC). This is where the hunters begin to specialize and thus become specialized hunter-gatherer societies. (cf. Bätzing 2008, lecture: The human-environment relationship from a geographical point of view)

Napoleon's 1806 was made possible primarily through a renewed strengthening of local governments and strong participation at the local level (taxes, police, public services).

In summary, I state that today's industrialized nations had to cede various levels of autonomy to existing local governments in order to achieve their goals - according to Fuhr (2000) this is based on the insight that centers without local powers are incapable of acting and vice versa. Today's ability to cope with conflict and crisis situations results in many countries from well-established institutions and available measures at the local level. The role of many local governments is consequently sometimes more important than that of central governments (Fuhr 2000). This can be seen, for example, from the fact that at the beginning of the 20th century in the USA and Germany 60% of federal spending was made by sub-national government institutions (Fuhr 2000).

The historical processes in developing countries, on the other hand, looked fundamentally different: Since the majority of today's developing countries were once under the colonial rule of various European states, local elites and traditional structures experienced a violent integration into the course of action of the administrative systems of the colonial powers, for example. After independence, state-led development was in the foreground, often based on the Marxist-Leninist ideology: Development should be achieved through strong, centrally organized bureaucracies and state-owned companies based on the model of the former Soviet Union (Nohlen, 1993). In addition to the expansion of central government power, there was a political and economic marginalization of the local power units and, as a result, the state was alienated from the base of the population. Due to the discrimination against small and medium-sized private companies by public company structures, the following the Damaged structures that were the decisive source of dynamism and flexibility in the market economies of the industrialized nations. As long as the allocation of resources still works (or seems to work), there tends to be broad support for centralized governance among the population (Nohlen 1993). The debt crisis of the 1970s and 1980s and the resulting macroeconomic instability weakened old institutional institutions and traditional centralized systems in developing countries. Functional problems of centralized governments (e.g. in the area of ​​public services), crises of legitimacy and the demands of citizens for greater local influence show that framework conditions such as the existence of deconcentrated sources of power, property control with a broad base and a dynamic local private sector are important for the success of Are decentralization (Fuhr 2000). In addition, the relevance of decentralization processes, in addition to the importance that international donors attach to them, as part of reform strategies in the developing countries themselves increased significantly, especially in the 1990s (Burchardt 2001). The young democracies that emerged in the former colonies after independence were in many cases characterized by an inefficient, bloated, outdated administrative apparatus (compare the situation in Mozambique in Chapter 4.1.1, Colonial administrative tradition (1884 ± 1974)). In addition to increasing pressure from sub-national levels and from civil society, demanding a shift in power from the central government level, decentralization is often seen as an important element in strengthening democratic structures and increasing administrative efficiency in developing countries (Burchardt 2001).

The decentralization process in today's developing countries is therefore fundamentally different from the decentralization process in Europe and North America. Understanding decentralization based on the principle of subsidiarity29 does not apply in this form to developing countries, but to countries in which development has grown "from below"30 (Illy & Schimitzek 1986). However, decentralization efforts in developing countries cannot be dismissed with reference to unfulfilled conditions, but rather have to be measured differently, namely "against the historical compulsion of colonialism, nationalism and economic development" (Illy & Schimitzek 1986: 10) In order to be able to judge the design of the decentralization program and the prospects of its success and failure, a detailed consideration of the political, social and cultural backgrounds of the respective country is essential.

3.6 Desired goals and possible effects of decentralization

As already pointed out in the previous section, the possible positive outcome of decentralization processes depends, among other things, on historically specific circumstances in a country's society (Rauch 2001). This factor and other conditions for success will be shown in the following with particular attention to the goals aimed for by decentralization processes, whereby the overriding goal of decentralization programs, namely the promotion of development, remains valid (see also 3.7) (Illy & Schimitzek 1986).

3.6.1 Objectives

"Decentralization has not only an administrative value,

but also a civic dimension, since it increases the opportunities for citizens to take interest in public affairs; it makes them get accustomed to using freedom. And from the accumulation of these local, active, personal freedoms, is born the most efficient counterweight against the claims of the central government, even if it were supported by an impersonal, collective will. "

Alexis de Tocqueville

One of the goals of decentralization regularly cited in the literature is situation-appropriate problem solving. The greater proximity of political decisions to the population should make it possible to use local resources more adequately and to adapt development measures to special local needs and thus to make them more efficient and effective. This principle applies primarily to decision-making areas where there is relevant local knowledge. It is also important that access to professional specialist knowledge is not lost when designing decentralized systems (Rauch 2001).

The second aspired goal of decentralization is one increased citizen participation in decision-making processes. It is easier for the population to exert influence, the closer a decision is made to those affected. However, decentralization does not mean more participation. In view of the potentially negative role of traditional authorities, for example (cf. Chapter 3.4.1), it becomes clear that local political structures can also be far less democratic and, instead, much more authoritarian than a national government. Decentralization thus opens up opportunities for local democracy, but is not to be equated with democratization. A decisive prerequisite for decentralized state power to actually strengthen participation is the existence of democratic structures (Rauch 2001).

In addition to increasing public participation in decision-making processes, Transparency and accountability for government action another central goal of decentralization processes. In this case, too, the following applies: the closer the decisions are to the citizen, the easier it is to control from below. On this basis, it is important to create a system of incentives and sanctions for development and citizen-oriented government action (Rauch 2001, Fuhr 2000, Crook & Manor 2000). However, decentralized decisions do not automatically lead to more transparency and accountability towards the population. Especially in rural regions without a functioning media, even a district government that is responsible for several hundred thousand inhabitants can be very far removed from the reality of the population when it comes to problem analysis and the development of solution strategies. Better control from below can only actually take place if there is clientelism and patronage relationships31 do not play a central role (Rauch 2001). According to Rauch (2001), their own sources of income also have positive effects on the demand for transparency, because when decisions are made about their own money, citizens are often more vigilant about how it is used.

The already mentioned goal of increasing efficiency applies in addition to the implementation of development measures in particular with regard to Instance channels and greater flexibility of the administrative apparatus. The prerequisite for this is qualified staff for regional local administrations. Efficient, decentralized administrative units can only be created through sufficient community sizes and assignment of tasks that are tailored to the available human resources (Rauch 2001).

3.6.2 Possible negative effects

In addition to the desired positive effects of decentralization, there are also possible negative effects, some of which have already been mentioned (cf. 3.4.1 and 3.4.2).In the following, I will explicitly highlight these possible negative effects in contrast to the desired goals of the decentralization process.

For one thing, there is the option of one Reinforcement of regional disparities. This is based on the fact that, as a result of the decentralization process, rich regions theoretically manage their wealth and poor regions their lack (e.g. of resources or population) themselves, which in the absence of financial equalization and national minimum standards for public services makes it possible to exacerbate inequalities ( Rauch 2001). In centralized systems, on the other hand, there are compensation options through the central government, which can intervene, for example, with the help of subsidies or the redistribution of tax revenues (Fuhr 2000).

Another possible negative impact of decentralization programs is that Disintegration of the nation-state. Pronounced local autonomy can trigger the separation of individual regions. Different education and supply systems can barriers to mobility between the individual areas and the resulting competition between regional authorities for centralized facilities and investments can take on a destructive character (e.g. through the duplication of facilities). In order to counteract this, institutionalized mechanisms of horizontal coordination between the local / regional governments are necessary, which can keep these tendencies towards disintegration within limits.

With the realization of autonomous freedom of choice for a large number of local authorities about borrowing and spending, the much-discussed danger of Loss of fiscal stability (Rauch 2001, Fuhr 2000). According to Fuhr (2000), it is therefore of crucial importance that expenditures with national profit and national costs (national public goods) generally remain the responsibility of the central government, e.g. costs for stabilization or redistribution. Borrowing from local governments continues to be particularly problematic. This can lead to macroeconomic instability without clear restrictions imposed by the central government and observation of the debt settlement requirements (Fuhr 2000).

What on the one hand should lead to an increase in the efficiency and effectiveness of administration and public services can on the other hand become unnecessary and at the same time inefficient bloating of the bureaucracy to lead. This mainly happens when administrative facilities are duplicated and additional decentralized facilities are created instead of handing over existing facilities and resources to decentralized control (Rauch 2001).

In addition to the desirable increase in citizen participation, decentralization on the other hand can lead to a Increasing the appropriation possibilities of local elites to lead. As already explained in Chapter 3.4.1, the existence of local elites as actors in the decentralization program is very important. Nevertheless, this can also tend to reduce the chances of disadvantaged population groups having access to public services. This depends on the local elite's own understanding of their responsibilities and competencies as well as their acceptance within the population. A negative concentration of power in favor of local elites can only be counteracted if decentralization is accompanied by steps towards democratization and the strengthening of opportunities for citizen participation (Rauch 2001).

In summary, I would like to emphasize that political and administrative decentralization alone is by no means an unconditional contribution to development and sustainable poverty reduction. Under certain social conditions, decentralized resource control can even intensify tendencies towards underdevelopment, impoverishment, resource destruction and violent conflicts. Decentralization alone cannot create democracy. Conversely, it requires a certain degree of democracy in order to be successful. Furthermore, a decentralization program requires a system of distribution of tasks at different levels of government and mutual control from below and from above, which is oriented towards the respective requirements. In the case of Mozambique, it is not yet possible to review the stated desired goals or negative effects of the decentralization process at the present time, but a tendency can be shown with the help of the influencing factors analyzed in the course of the process.

3.7 Development through decentralization?

As already mentioned at the beginning, decentralization concepts are generally based on the assumption that centralized structures represent an obstacle to development (Holtkamp 1993). In addition to the desired effects of decentralization listed in the previous chapter and the equally possible, undesirable negative consequences, the main goal of decentralization programs is a positive development - development in the sense of a democratization of processes (such as decision-making), an increase in participation, economic growth, improving public services, reducing poverty (Illy & Schimitzek 1986). So that this primary goal of development can actually be achieved through the decentralization process, the starting conditions in the respective case are decisive (cf. Chapter 3.5) (Forquilha 2008). If one now wants to measure the actual development performance of decentralization, a grid of criteria for the evaluation is essential. According to Rondinelle et al. (1983) decentralization programs can be assessed according to the following criteria:

1. Degree of achievement of general political goals through decentralization, more precisely:

- Promoting political stability
- Growing support for national development programs
- Greater emphasis on regional and local interests and communities

2. Degree of increase in administrative effectiveness through decentralization, growing coordination between sub-areas of central government and between these and local administrations / non-governmental organizations

3. Degree of increase in economic efficiency through decentralization, achievement of development goals through cost reduction

4. Contribution of decentralization measures to greater flexibility with which government bodies respond to the needs and interests of local groups

5. Contribution of decentralization measures to greater self-determination and personal responsibility at lower administrative levels

According to Simon et al. (1993) the assumption that decentralization promotes development has not yet been clearly confirmed empirically. According to Simon et al. (1993) primarily methodological reasons: Simon et al. (1993) criticize the formation of terms in which an interpretation of decentralization is used, which is useless for development policy32. Furthermore, a lack of practical experience is a fundamental problem. In terms of development policy, decentralization has hardly been practiced in developing countries so far - so there is no empirical basis for its development policy assessment. In my opinion, the view of this article from 1993 should meanwhile be reconsidered, since the concept of decentralization is interpreted more adequately in the current state of research (see 3.1); the problem of empirically founded assessment remains so far.

I use the Rondinelle et al. (1984) at this point only for the sake of completeness, since I consider the evaluation criteria to be insufficiently differentiated. For a precise handling and final assessment, an investigation based on detailed quantitative empirical research would be indispensable, which I cannot do in the context of this work. Furthermore, in my opinion, the decentralization process in Mozambique is still too young to be able to make a final judgment on success or failure. Since it is only a matter of assessing the influencing factors and the resulting chances of success or failure of the decentralization process, in the following I will concentrate on the criteria already presented by Rauch (2001) and Fuhr (2000) (cf. 3.4).


1 I am referring here to the institutional framework (for example LOLE).

2 Decisive characteristics of a neo-patrimonial state, which, according to a detailed analysis, can also be found in Mozambique, are according to the definition (see chapter 2.2, method and structure), among other things, a concentration of power in the hands of the cartridge as well as clientelism (distribution of personal favors through direct or indirect exchange between cartridges and clients).

3 This refers to the institutional framework (as for example LOLE, Lei dos Orgãos Locais do Estado).

4 Samora Moisés Machel was a founding member of the former liberation movement and today's ruling party FRELIMO and 1975 ± 1986 first president of Mozambique.

5 In the course of the elaboration, in the interests of legibility and clarity, I have waived the use of double forms or other markings for female and male persons. All personal designations used in the text always refer to both genders.

6 (last accessed on: October 23, 2008)

7 Decree 11/2005, Boletím da Republica, I Série n ° 23, 10 de Junho de 2005.

8 As a result, funds are made available for development measures, for example, but cannot be used due to a lack of organization or skills, which reduces the quality and reliability of public services, creates uncertainty about responsibilities and the aim of the decentralization reforms to reduce poverty is impaired.

9 "Reforms of the first generation" mean the reforms carried out in Argentina, Chile and Uruguay in the 1970s, which included a complex of economic and institutional policies and were carried out under the umbrella of the "Washington Consensus". The reforms of the second generation (also known as the "post-Washington consensus") are oriented towards the creation and strengthening of institutions and thereby pursue the goal of creating legal security for private investors, who are to guarantee the economic stability of the country in the following (details see chapter 3.1).

10 “Clientelism describes an informal, mutually beneficial power relationship between higher-ranking and lower-ranking people or organizations. As a rule, the higher authority (which provides the advantage) expects special (political) support or allegiance (e.g. votes) from the following authority. "(Bpb).

11 Neopatrimonialism is defined as “a hybrid form of rational-legal and patrimonial rule, often used to describe the mode of rule in various non-OECD regions of the world. Where the formal-institutional framework of political systems is undermined by the use of certain informal institutions, one can speak of the existence of neopatrimonial systems. They are shown by three essential defining features: 1. Concentration of power in the hands of the cartridge, 2. Distribution of personal favors through direct or indirect exchange between cartridges and clients, 3. Abuse of state resources. "(German Institute of Global Area Studies, GIGA, Internet source [45]

12 Faust (2002) cites the examples of Brazil, Venezuela and Colombia in this context, where the promotion of decentralized and federal structures leads to a regular exploitation of the federal budget in favor of regional interests (Brazil), a fragmentation of the party landscape and growing distribution conflicts (Venezuela) as well as excessive demands of the state through the parallel structures (Colombia). Successful exceptions, in which decentralization reforms were only introduced after the consolidation of democratic rule and market-economy structures, are, according to Faust (2002), Chile, Costa Rica and Uruguay.

13 The LOLE in Mozambique was adopted on May 19, 2003.

14 Disparities describe unequal developments that are usually linked to differences in infrastructure and economic power. (, accessed on December 10, 2008)

15 Institution building is understood to be the reform of weak institutions or the establishment of previously non-existent institutions so that they can subsequently fulfill basic functions of administration and governance. "It is generally accepted that institutional changes will form an important part of most national anti-corruption strategies. Elements of institution-building are found in most if not all of the international treaties, plans of action and specific development projects which deal either with corruption or more general topics such as good governance "( /crime/corruption/toolkit/AC_Toolkit_chap3.pdf, status: 06/06/2009).

16 Rüland (1993) gives two reasons for this:

17 "Terms such as" guardianship democracy "," controlled democracy "or even" development dictatorship "shaped the debate." (Rtiland 1993: 185)

18 The concept of Washington Consensus was discovered during a conference in Washington D.C. Coined in 1990 by the economist John Williamson. The concept of the IMF and the World Bank combines a number of economic policy measures to promote economic stability and growth. While the Washington Consensus was still exclusively focused on economic development, the Post Washington Consensus expanded both the instruments and the goals of development - namely raising the standard of living and fair and sustainable development. The core concepts of the new approach are a holistic understanding of development, national ownership, social inclusion and donor coordination (Wolfensohn 1999).

19 The public choice - Approach explains political behavior, decision-making processes and structures on the basis of neoclassical economic theories. The basic assumption here is that the human being is a rationally acting being that is guided solely by self-interest. The aim of his decisions is to maximize utility - political decisions are that public choice - Approach based on a by-product of this process (Frey & Lüchinger 2003).

20Good governance stands for efficient political institutions as well as a responsible use of the state with political power and public resources. At its core, it is about the interplay between democracy, social security and the rule of law. That goes Good governance beyond the state area and also includes all other actors from business and society. Guiding principles for Good governance are human rights as well as constitutional and democratic principles, such as equal political participation for all. Particular attention is paid to the needs of the weak. At the latest in the United Nations Millennium Declaration, the international community reached a consensus: Good governance is on the one hand an aim in itself, on the other hand an important prerequisite for human development and the success of poverty reduction and peacekeeping (compare, status: 05.06.2009 ).

21 The introduction of the term is - in its English version (New Institutional Economics) - attributed to Oliver E. Williamson. The main concern of the research direction is the explicit consideration of real existing institutional conditions and their explanation in the context of an economic analysis. In the following, the design of institutions will build on this analysis (Williamson 2000).

22 The collapse of the central administrative systems has shown that forms of government and institutional structures can hinder socio-economic development (Rauch 2001).

23 Bureaucratic control benefits other groups than control through market mechanisms.

24 Compare, for example, the article by Albrecht Stockmayer and Andreas Nölke: Experience with decentralization and community advice from the perspective of the German Society for Technical Cooperation (GTZ) GmbH, in: Simon, Klaus et al. 1993: Subsidiarity in development cooperation, decentralization and administrative reforms between structural adjustment and self-help, Baden-Baden.

25 In Mozambique, for example, it is the "Ministério de Plano e Desenvolvimento" (Ministry of Planning and Development).

26 Rauch (2001) cites oil states as an example.

27 Peoples who live from hunting (men) and collecting (women) are called wild hunters. Due to the way of life, hunters can never fall back on larger supplies. Since nature produces decentrally, the hunters are dependent on changing locations depending on the season and the weather to obtain food. The end of large-scale game hunting societies is estimated to be around 10,000 BC. Dated (beginning: 2.5 million years BC). This is where the hunters begin to specialize and thus become specialized hunter-gatherer societies. (cf. Bätzing 2008, lecture: The human-environment relationship from a geographical point of view)

28 The Federalist Papers are a series of 85 articles that appeared in various New York newspapers that year and the following year, aimed at convincing the people of New York to ratify the 1787 constitution for the United States of America. The authors were Alexander Hamilton, James Madison and John Jay (see Internet source [46]).

29 The principle of subsidiarity means the concept that the fulfillment of state tasks is assigned to a subsystem located as low as possible (e.g. municipality) and that higher-level subsystems or the central government only perform these tasks if subordinate subsystems cannot perform them independently (Illy & Schimitzek 1986).

30 Illy & Schimitzek (1986) name France and the USA as examples.

31 Patronage means the favoring and promotion of (related) persons, which is not primarily based on the services of the beneficiary (but, for example, through good behavior). (bpb)

32 According to Simon et al. (1993) only if it shifts not only tasks and resources, but also political legitimation to local levels. This interpretation would come from the type of Devolution (after Rondinelli et al. 1983, see also 3.1), which combines democracy and self-help in the sense of self-administration, is close.

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