The Gabriel A. Almond prize is awarded annually for the best dissertation in the field of comparative politics. The Recipient is Adam Auerbach, American University for the Dissertation: “Demanding Development: Democracy, Community Governance, and Public Goods Provision in India’s Urban Slums,” University of Wisconsin.
This dissertation is about poverty and development in the urban slums of India and specifically about how low income Indian citizens come together to combat poverty and gain access to basic public services such as drinking water, sanitation and waste removal, paved roads, public safety, and schools. Auerbach says that access to these basic services varies widely across India owing to greater or lesser levels of success by citizens within neighborhoods in working together to bring these services to the local area. Auerbach finds that the role of parties is essential in bringing services to communities and that dense party networks are key in bringing services. However, the density of those networks is greater where communities are more diverse, socially diverse and heterogeneous communities are most successful in working together to acquire basic services.
Thanks to the Award Committee: Leslie Anderson, University of Florida, chair; Nick Ziegler, University of California, Berkeley; and Hans Peter Schmitz, University of San Diego.