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Accepted Contribution:

Administrative and policy practices around unspent funds: institutional architecture of accountability in India and Italy  


Christine Lutringer (Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies)


I would like to discuss mechanisms and actions to increase democratic accountability towards the allocation and use of social welfare funds.

Why would you like to speak in this workshop?:

The response to Covid-19 has entailed the largest peacetime expansion in fiscal deficits in history, requiring new financial instruments, a repurposing of existing ones, and a search for liquidity in general. This contribution seeks to explore the use of specific social welfare funds in two different developmental contexts – India and Italy – characterized by fragmented and multilevel governance. It will address questions such as: why are there unspent social purpose funds in the first place? How can they be identified in contexts of institutional – and in particular accounting – fragmentation? Which initiatives have been taken to remedy the situation, in particular in the context of the massive spendings that occurred the Covid-19 pandemic? The paper builds on the data collected in two different socioeconomic and institutional settings, which present however valuable points of comparisons in terms of their decentralised policy and political framework. In both instances, unspent funds provide a valuable vantage point to analyse institutional architectures of accountability.

Workshop W15
Post-Pandemic Mobilisation and Management of Social Welfare Funds: Implications for Equity and Citizenship