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Law and Development Review

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Informal Institutions in the Regulatory State: The Case of Bureaucracy in India

Yugank Goyal
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  • Economics and Law, O.P. Jindal Global University, Jagdishpur Village, Sonipat - 131001, India
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Published Online: 2017-05-06 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/ldr-2017-0004

Abstract

Development narratives have often hinged on the idea of regulatory governance, particularly in developing countries where the regulatory agencies are generally dysfunctional. The paper argues that inefficient performance of regulatory agencies of poor countries can be explained, inter alia, by the existence of informal institutions that are embedded in these ‘formal’ organizations. Presence of informal networks in a regulatory governance structures may often erode the independence of the agency while benefiting the network. As an important factor overlooked in literature, informality in regulatory bodies breaks the mainstream narrative of regulatory bodies. I use the example of India and examine the institutional endowments of informality and its stickiness through time in regulatory frames. I show how the informal network of civil servants permeates every regulatory agency in the country and undermines an independent functioning. Policy conclusions follow.

Keywords: bureaucracy; informal institutions; civil services; IAS officers; regulatory agency

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About the article

Published Online: 2017-05-06

Published in Print: 2017-06-27


Citation Information: Law and Development Review, Volume 10, Issue 1, Pages 147–177, ISSN (Online) 1943-3867, ISSN (Print) 2194-6523, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/ldr-2017-0004.

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