This study examines local institutional reforms frequently conceived as a panacea for accountable and responsive local institutions that engender change and prosperity in Ghana. Currently, this assumption is often made without recourse to how policymakers pursue these institutional changes in everyday situations. While the link between local democracy and poverty reduction remains largely rhetorical, it still persists because no clear distinction is made between local political reforms, local autonomy and local socio-economic change. Using an actor-centered institutional framework, this study offers critical insights into how local policymakers take advantage of institutional reforms to advance their own interests at the expense of specific local priorities and socio-economic change.
Matthew Sabbi is a Fritz Thyssen Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow at the Chair of Development Sociology, University of Bayreuth, Germany. His research focuses on the analysis of local political reforms and local public policy in the Global South particularly in Ghana.