Main Article Content
Rapid change towards urbanization has taken some governments unaware, both at local and national levels. Cities across Southeast Asian region do not form part of the exceptions, particularly in facing problems of increasing poverty; lack of basic amenities and services such as water supply, electricity, sanitation, housing, education and healthcare; worsening pollution and depletion of natural resources; crippling traffic congestion; declining safety and security, and increased dissatisfaction by urban residents. This qualitative study used the general inductive approach and discourse analysis to discuss and gain deeper understanding of decentralization and local governance in Southeast Asia by looking into the patterns of development, reforms, and approaches. It further presents the varied discourses on prospects and directions in local governance in Southeast Asia and mechanisms used for regional inclusiveness and development.