Dilip Mookherjee

Dilip Mookherjee is Professor of Economics at Boston University. He is the author most recently of The Crisis in Government Accountability: Governance Reforms and Indian Economic Performance.

  • Decentralization and Local Governance in Developing Countries

    Decentralization and Local Governance in Developing Countries

    A Comparative Perspective

    Pranab Bardhan and Dilip Mookherjee

    Over the past three decades the developing world has seen increasing devolution of political and economic power to local governments. Decentralization is considered an important element of participatory democracy and, along with privatization and deregulation, represents a substantial reduction in the authority of national governments over economic policy. The contributors to Decentralization and Local Governance in Developing Countries examine this institutional transformation from comparative and interdisciplinary perspectives, offering detailed case studies of decentralization in eight countries: Bolivia, Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, Pakistan, South Africa, and Uganda.

    Some of these countries witnessed an unprecedented "big bang" shift toward comprehensive political and economic decentralization: Bolivia in 1995 and Indonesia after the fall of Suharto in 1998. Brazil and India decentralized in an uneven and more gradual manner. In some other countries (such as Pakistan), devolution represented an instrument for consolidation of power of a nondemocratic national government. In China, local governments were granted much economic but little political power. South Africa made the transition from the undemocratic decentralization of apartheid to decentralization under a democratic constitution. The studies provide a comparative perspective on the political and economic context within which decentralization took place, and how this shaped its design and possible impact.

    Contributors Omar Azfar, Gianpaolo Baiocchi, Pranab Bardhan, Shubham Chaudhuri, Ali Cheema, Jean-Paul Faguet, Bert Hofman, Kai Kaiser, Philip E. Keefer, Asim Ijaz Khwaja, Justin Yifu Lin, Mingxing Liu, Jeffrey Livingston, Patrick Meagher, Dilip Mookherjee, Ambar Narayan, Adnan Qadir, Ran Tao, Tara Vishwanath, Martin Wittenberg

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  • Data Mining

    Data Mining

    Next Generation Challenges and Future Directions

    Hillol Kargupta, Anupama Joshi, Krishnamoorthy Sivakumar, and Yelena Yesha

    A state-of-the-art survey of recent advances in data mining or knowledge discovery.

    Data mining, or knowledge discovery, has become an indispensable technology for businesses and researchers in many fields. Drawing on work in such areas as statistics, machine learning, pattern recognition, databases, and high performance computing, data mining extracts useful information from the large data sets now available to industry and science. This collection surveys the most recent advances in the field and charts directions for future research. The first part looks at pervasive, distributed, and stream data mining, discussing topics that include distributed data mining algorithms for new application areas, several aspects of next-generation data mining systems and applications, and detection of recurrent patterns in digital media. The second part considers data mining, counter-terrorism, and privacy concerns, examining such topics as biosurveillance, marshalling evidence through data mining, and link discovery. The third part looks at scientific data mining; topics include mining temporally-varying phenomena, data sets using graphs, and spatial data mining. The last part considers web, semantics, and data mining, examining advances in text mining algorithms and software, semantic webs, and other subjects.

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  • Molecular Models of Life

    Molecular Models of Life

    Philosophical Papers on Molecular Biology

    Sahotra Sarkar

    Despite the transformation in biological practice and theory brought about by discoveries in molecular biology, until recently philosophy of biology continued to focus on evolutionary biology. When the Human Genome Project got underway in the late 1980s and early 1990s, philosophers of biology—unlike historians and social scientists—had little to add to the debate. In this landmark collection of essays, Sahotra Sarkar broadens the scope of current discussions of the philosophy of biology, viewing molecular biology as a unifying perspective on life that complements that of evolutionary biology. His focus is on molecular biology, but the overriding question behind these papers is what molecular biology contributes to all traditional areas of biological research.Molecular biology—described with some foresight in a 1938 Rockefeller Foundation report as a branch of science in which "delicate modern techniques are being used to investigate ever more minute details"—and its modeling strategies apparently argue in favor of physical reductionism. Sarkar's first three chapters explore reductionism—defending it, but cautioning that reduction to molecular interactions is not necessarily a reduction to genetics (and does not support the claims of either heriditarianism or environmentalism). The next sections of the book discuss function, exploring how functional explanations pose a problem for reductionism; the informational interpretation of biology and how it interacts with reductionism; and the tension between the unifying framework of molecular biology and the received framework of evolutionary theory. The concluding chapter is an essay in the emerging field of developmental evolution, exploring what molecular biology may contribute to the transformation of evolutionary theory as evolutionary theory takes into account morphogenetic development.

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    • Paperback $6.75