Are decentralization reforms fostering local community participation and improving the quality of democracy in Latin America? Are they, insted, posing a threat to democracy and development? In the last thirty years, Latin Ameican countries have undergone major reforms that devolved fiscal resources, administrative responsibilities, and political authority from the central governments to the states and municipalities. These decentralization reforms have radically altered the political landscape in Latin America, even inthe countries that have since then tried to recentralize power, such as Venezuela. What were the main causes of the decentralization movement? Who were the main national and international actors who pushed forward these reforms? What have the main political, fiscal, and policy consequences of decentralization been? These are some of the questions this course will focus on. The experiences of decentralization in Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Bolivia, Venezuela, and Mexico will be studied. Although prior knowledge of Latin American politics is not required, additional readings will be assigned to the students who have not taken at least one introductory course in Latin American politics, history or cultures.
Section 401 - SEM
T 0130PM-0430PM

University of Pennsylvania
The Ronald O. Perelman Center for Political Science and Economics
133 S. 36th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6215
Phone: (215) 898-7641

Nicholas Sambanis Chair
Alex Weisiger Graduate Chair
Daniel Hopkins Undergraduate Chair