Children's participation in local government: The Makkala Panchayats of Kundapur, southern India.

Harrison, Deborah (2015) Children's participation in local government: The Makkala Panchayats of Kundapur, southern India. Doctoral thesis, University of East Anglia.

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Abstract

The United Nations’ 1989 Convention on the Rights of the Child, is the most fundamental potentiality to affect children’s lives for the better, through the dynamic relationship between its provisions for child participation, protection and the best interests of the child. I investigate how the Convention is being implemented in Kundapur, in southern India. The makkala panchayat initiative has established children’s councils that parallel the rural (adult) village councils which operate under the decentralizing Panchayati Raj system of local government in Karnataka State. The initiative is the innovation of Bangalore-based NGO, The Concerned for Working Children (“CWC”).
Through a methodology informed by grounded theory, ethnography and the sociology of childhood, I report the opinions of the children elected to the makkala panchayats, how the makkala panchayats impact their lives and whether the Convention’s provisions are being integrated into the makkala panchayats. I examine the context in which the Convention is being operationalized, the conceptualizations of children and childhood with particular consideration being given to postmodern social constructionism, childhood and The Child. The thesis divides into six themes related to the children of the makkala panchayats: loss; burden; risk; competency; homogeneity; and authenticity. An examination is made in the role of the NGO, in its capacities as facilitor and research gatekeeper.
I find the children do benefit from their participation, in both material and developmental terms, and I find drawbacks. From my findings, I offer suggestions for further avenues of research.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Social Sciences > School of Education and Lifelong Learning
Depositing User: Mia Reeves
Date Deposited: 01 Jul 2015 10:48
Last Modified: 01 Jul 2015 10:48
URI: https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/id/eprint/53456
DOI:

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