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Wilson Center Reports on the Americas No. 12: Decentralization and Democratic Governance in Latin America

This volume explores one of the crucial intersections of political and economic change: how the reform of the central state in the form of policies of decentralization has affected democratic governance in different countries and at different levels of society.The book is a product of a two-year project on decentralization which included both national-level and comparative research on decentralization.  Two scholars from each of five countries (Argentina, Brazil, Venezuela, Guatemala, and Mexico) met at the outset of the project to present papers and to discuss the experiences of their countries comparatively.  Later, each team organized a national forum on decentralization and democratic governance that included scholars; national, regional, and local government officials; civil society representatives; and representatives of the business community.  In light of these debates and the comparative discussion among the research team, the participating researchers revised their papers for this volume.


Latin America Program

The Wilson Center’s prestigious Latin America Program provides non-partisan expertise to a broad community of decision makers in the United States and Latin America on critical policy issues facing the Hemisphere. The Program provides insightful and actionable research for policymakers, private sector leaders, journalists, and public intellectuals in the United States and Latin America. To bridge the gap between scholarship and policy action, it fosters new inquiry, sponsors high-level public and private meetings among multiple stakeholders, and explores policy options to improve outcomes for citizens throughout the Americas. Drawing on the Wilson Center’s strength as the nation’s key non-partisan policy forum, the Program serves as a trusted source of analysis and a vital point of contact between the worlds of scholarship and action.  Read more