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(Under)Developing Democracy: Mechanisms of Community-Based Service Provision in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
Unformatted Document Text:  as performing a government function. And in contrast to the "state-society synergy" approach, in which CBOs and the state are said to complement one another, many CBO leaders see their organizations more as soloists than as accompanists. MECHANISMS Understanding how or why Tanzania's CBOs have come not only to narrow the participatory opportunities of ordinary citizens, to reduce accountability in service provision, but also to extend state power rather place limits on it requires discovery of the mechanisms that generated this particular form of third sector organization. This section identifies two causal mechanisms that have profoundly influenced the democratic role and effects of association: formalization and subsidiarity. Each is discussed in turn. Mechanism One: Legal Formalization Legal formalization is a crucial mechanism in the development of a third sector. It involves groups of individuals adhering to institutionalized forms of organizing collective action. While the legal formalization of organizational structures may not always be a legal requirement of the government, concerned actors may view it as a prerequisite to achieving their goals. Legality or effectiveness notwithstanding, in certain circumstances the formalization mechanism undermines the putative effects of third sector organizations by narrowing the participatory opportunities available to ordinary citizens. That is, while legal formalization may offer short-term benefits to particular individuals and their organizations, it negatively impacts or shapes the broader organizational sphere. By legitimating and favoring one form of third sector organization and discounting or marginalizing others, legal formalization in urban Tanzania has reduced the chorus of citizens' voices to a manageable few. This sub-section of the paper illustrates how state- and donor-sanctioned winnowing of the third sector has created a situation in which only 15

Authors: Dill, Brian.
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as performing a government function. And in contrast to the "state-society synergy" approach, in
which CBOs and the state are said to complement one another, many CBO leaders see their
organizations more as soloists than as accompanists.
MECHANISMS
Understanding how or why Tanzania's CBOs have come not only to narrow the participatory
opportunities of ordinary citizens, to reduce accountability in service provision, but also to
extend state power rather place limits on it requires discovery of the mechanisms that generated
this particular form of third sector organization. This section identifies two causal mechanisms
that have profoundly influenced the democratic role and effects of association: formalization and
subsidiarity. Each is discussed in turn.
Mechanism One: Legal Formalization
Legal formalization is a crucial mechanism in the development of a third sector. It involves
groups of individuals adhering to institutionalized forms of organizing collective action. While
the legal formalization of organizational structures may not always be a legal requirement of the
government, concerned actors may view it as a prerequisite to achieving their goals. Legality or
effectiveness notwithstanding, in certain circumstances the formalization mechanism undermines
the putative effects of third sector organizations by narrowing the participatory opportunities
available to ordinary citizens. That is, while legal formalization may offer short-term benefits to
particular individuals and their organizations, it negatively impacts or shapes the broader
organizational sphere. By legitimating and favoring one form of third sector organization and
discounting or marginalizing others, legal formalization in urban Tanzania has reduced the
chorus of citizens' voices to a manageable few. This sub-section of the paper illustrates how
state- and donor-sanctioned winnowing of the third sector has created a situation in which only
15


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