This volume analyses the complexity of local governance, both rural and urban, in contemporary India. It argues that there is more to local governance today than a focus on decentralization. The essays illuminate some of the lesser known aspects of the interface between panchayats and otherinstitutions of local governance, whether district administration or parastatal agencies and civil society organizations. Sections in the book look at the relationship between these institutions and panchayats, sectoral experiences in health and primary education, local governance in the urban andrural setting, and finally issues of transparency, representation and accountability in local governance. Providing a unique analytical perspective to the issue of local governance in India, this volume will be useful to political scientists, sociologists, activists and bureaucrats in localgovernance mechanisms.