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Professor Jean-Paul Faguet

Professor Jean-Paul Faguet

Professor of the Political Economy of Development

Programme Director, Development Management


    Department of International Development (ID)
  • Suntory & Toyota International Centres for Economics & Related Disciplines (STICERD)
  • Government Department Faculty Affiliate
  • Initiative for Policy Dialogue (Columbia University)
  • Institute for the Study of the Americas (ISA)
Decentralization and Popular Democracy

Visit Professor Faguet's website Governance From Below to find out about his book Decentralisation and Popular Democracy: Governance from below in Bolivia and other related research projects and publications.



Professor Faguet works at the frontier between economics and politics, using quantitative and qualitative methods to. investigate the institutions and organizational forms that underpin rapid development. Specific fields include political economy, comparative politics, development economics and public economics.

Professor Faguet is interested in decentralization and local governance, the interactions between civil society and public sector effectiveness, how civic cooperation can degenerate into social conflict, and spatial patterns of politics and violence at the subnational level, especially in Latin America and South Asia. Longer-term interests include the application of institutional theory to development statics and dynamics, the death of foreign aid and the rise of "development clubs", the theory of \'social enterprise\', \'structural power\', and how to blend qualitative and quantitative methodologies for social science research.

Professor Faguet is the current Chair of the Decentralization Task Force, part of Joseph Stiglitz's Initiative for Policy Dialogue at Columbia University. Before coming to the LSE he worked for the World Bank in La Paz, Bolivia on health, education, early childhood development and the environment. He trained in both political science and economics at Princeton, Harvard and the LSE, where his dissertation won the William Robson Memorial Prize.

Research interests and area of supervision

  • Closed-to-open-access transitions
  • The social and organizational underpinnings of the Eastern European 'colour revolutions'
  • The political, economic and social determinants of civil violence
    Is there 'social' enterprise?
  • Is there 'structural power'?
  • Endogenous institutional change

Selected recent publications

Books and Special Journal Issues

  1. Faguet, JP (ed.). 2013. “Decentralization and Governance.”  Special Issue of World Development I guest edited. In press.
  2. Faguet, JP. 2012. Decentralization and Popular Democracy: Governance from Below in Bolivia. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press.
  3.  Zuazo, M, JP Faguet, and G Bonifaz (eds.). 2012. Descentralización y democratización en Bolivia: La historia del Estado débil, la sociedad rebelde y el anhelo de democracia. La Paz: Friedrich Ebert Stiftung. La Paz: Friedrich Ebert Stiftung.

Journal Articles

  1. Faguet, JP. Forthcoming. “Can Sub-National Autonomy Strengthen Democracy in Bolivia?.” Publius: The Journal of Federalism.
  2. Faguet, JP and F Sánchez. 2013. “Decentralization and Access to Social Services in Colombia.” Public Choice. Winner of the Corporación Andina de Fomento International Research Paper Prize. DOI 10.1007/s11127-013-0077-7.
  3. Faguet, JP. 2013. “Decentralization and Governance.”  Lead paper of a special issue on Decentralization and Governance. World Development. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.worlddev.2013.01.002
  4. Faguet, JP. 2009. “Governance From Below in Bolivia: A Theory of Local Government With Two Empirical Tests.”  Latin American Politics and Society, 51(4): 29-68. DOI: 10.1111/j.1548-2456.2009.00063.x
  5. Faguet, JP and Z Ali. 2009.“Making Reform Work: Institutions, Dispositions and the Improving Health of Bangladesh.” World Development. 37: 208–218.
  6. Faguet, JP. 2009. “Mejorando la educación y la salud de los pobres: Descentralización y reformas de política en Colombia.” Perspectivas, 7: 73-88.
  7. Faguet, JP and F Sánchez. 2008. “Decentralization’s Effects on Educational Outcomes in Bolivia and Colombia.” World Development, 36: 1294–1316. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.worlddev.2007.06.021
  8. Faguet, JP. 2008. “Decentralization’s Effects on Public Investment: Evidence and Policy Lessons from Bolivia and Colombia.” Journal of Development Studies, 44: 1100–1121.
  9. Faguet, JP and FB Wietzke. 2006. “Social Funds and Decentralization: Optimal Institutional Design.” Public Administration and Development, 26(4): 303-315.
  10. Faguet, JP. 2004. “Does Decentralization Increase Responsiveness to Local Needs? Evidence from Bolivia.” Journal of Public Economics, 88(4): 867-894.
  11. Faguet, JP. 2000. “Decentralization and Local Government Performance: Improving Public Service Provision in Bolivia”, Revista de Economía del Rosario, 3(1): 127-176. [Colombian Academic Journal]

Chapters in Edited Volumes

  1. Zuazo, M, JP Faguet, and G Bonifaz. 2012. “Introducción General.” Chapter 1 in Zuazo, M, JP Faguet, and G Bonifaz (eds.). 2012. Descentralización y democratización en Bolivia: La historia del Estado débil, la sociedad rebelde y el anhelo de democracia. La Paz: Friedrich Ebert Stiftung
  2. Faguet, JP. 2008. “The Determinants of Central vs. Local Government Investment: Democracy and Development in Bolivia.”  Chapter 7 in Ghosh, S. and S.S. Mishra (eds.). Decentralization and Development, Hyderabad, India: Icfai University Press.
  3. Faguet, JP. 2006. “Decentralizing Bolivia: Local Government in the Jungle.” Chapter 4 in P. Bardhan and D. Mookherjee (eds.). Decentralization and Local Governance in Developing Countries: A Comparative Perspective, Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
  4. Faguet, JP. 1999. “Experiencias Internacionales en Descentralización” in G. Manga, (ed.), Descentralización de Verdad: Soluciones Para Colombia, Bogotá: Imprenta Nacional.
  5. Boone, P and JP Faguet. 1998. “Multilateral Aid, Politics and Poverty: Past Failures and Future Challenges”, chapter 2 in R. Grant and J. Nijman (eds.). The Global Crisis in Foreign Aid, Syracuse: Syracuse University Press.

Work In Progress

  1. Faguet, JP and A Channa. “Decentralization of Health and Education in Developing Countries: A Quality-Adjusted Review of the Empirical Literature.”  LSE/STICERD Working Paper No. EOPP 38.
  2. Faguet, JP. “The Local Roots of Political Collapse: When Bolivia's Parts Swallowed the Whole.”  PSA and LASA conference paper.
  3. Faguet, JP and M.S. Aiyar. Is Decentralization Good for Development? Perspectives from Academics and Policy Makers.  Edited volume with chapters written by the leading lights in the field, including Nobel laureates Roger Myerson and Joseph Stiglitz.
  4. Faguet, JP, MA Fernández and F Sánchez. “The Republican Origins of Comparative Development in Colombia’s Regions”.
  5. Faguet, JP and EA Brett. Institutions for Development: A Theoretical Approach.  Book manuscript that intends to re-make Development Management as a theoretically rigorous field based on institutional theories of development from political science, economics and sociology.
  6. Besley, T, JP Faguet and M Tommasi. A Synoptic Guide to Decentralization and Intergovernmental Relations. Initiative for Policy Dialogue, Columbia University, New York, NY.
  7. Faguet, JP. “Residual Power.” A significant revision of STICERD Development Economics Discussion Paper No. 43, 2004.
  8. Faguet, JP, C Mejía and F Sánchez. “El Impacto de Variables Políticas Sobre Resultados Presupuestales Y Sociales en un Marco de Descentralización: El Caso de Colombia.” Crisis States Programme Conference Paper, 2004.

Policy Literature

  1. Faguet, JP. 2011. "Impacts and Consequences of the New Regime of Autonomies in Bolivia: Elements for a Discussion." Inter-American Development Bank Policy Brief No.122.
  2. Faguet, JP. 2008. “Colombia: Seizing the Peace.” Berkeley Review of Latin American Studies, Fall issue.
  3. Faguet, JP and M Shami. 2008. “Fiscal Policy and Spatial Inequality in Latin America and Beyond.”  World Bank Policy Research Working Paper.

Contact details

  • Email: j.p.faguet@lse.ac.uk 
  • Tel: +44 (0) 207 955 6435
  • Fax: +44 (0) 207 955 6844
  • Room: CON8.06, Connaught House