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Is it always true that decentralization reforms put more power in the hands of governors and mayors? In post-developmental Latin America, the surprising answer to this question is no. In fact, a variety of outcomes are possible, depending largely on who initiates the reforms, how they are initiated, and in what order they are introduced. Tulia G. Falleti draws on extensive fieldwork, in-depth interviews, archival records, and quantitative data to explain the trajectories of decentralization processes and their markedly different outcomes in Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, and Mexico. In her analysis, she develops a sequential theory and method that are successful in explaining this counterintuitive result. Her research contributes to the literature on path dependence and institutional evolution and will be of interest to scholars of decentralization, federalism, subnational politics, intergovernmental relations, and Latin American politics.
Tulia G. Falleti is an Assistant Professor of Political Science at the University of Pennsylvania. Her work on decentralization, federalism, and research methodology has appeared in the American Political Science Review, Comparative Political Studies, Publius, Qualitative Sociology, Critique Internationale (France), Desarrollo Economico (Argentina), Politica y Gobierno (Mexico), and Sociologias (Brazil), as well as in edited volumes published in the United States, Argentina, and Brazil. She has received awards and fellowships from the Social Science Research Council, the United States Institute of Peace, the Ford Foundation in conjunction with the Latin American Studies Association, and the Ministry of Science, Technology, and Productive Innovation of Argentina. In 2006, she earned the Gregory Luebbert Award from the American Political Science Association for the best article in comparative politics for her article 'A Sequential Theory of Decentralization: Latin American Cases in Comparative Perspective.'