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The three forces of democratization, decentralization, and development have swept the world over the last decade and redrawn the maps of politics, power, and prosperity. Modern Mexico has been fully engaged in the trio, making it a rich case study. In recent years, enhanced political competition has redistributed decisionmaking across all levels of government, making the government more accountable to the average citizen. It has also given subnational governments a renewed role as economic agents. The taxation, spending, borrowing, and institutions of Mexican states and municipalities are now increasingly under the rigor of market discipline. The combined, closer scrutiny of voters and financiers is creating a new incentive framework for policymakers-a framework where necessary reforms become both inescapable and, more importantly, a perceived source of potential reward. This book is the product of the analytical work of a large number of experts, Mexican and foreign. In the book, the experts document Mexico's decentralization experience; conceptualize its main trends, policies, and options; and bring it into the light of international comparison. They distill critical lessons and challenges that are of relevance for Mexico, for Latin America and, generally, for countries that are embarking on far reaching decentralization efforts. This renders the volume a major contribution to our knowledge and thinking in this area; and a timely one, since decentralization is an irreversible process that is likely to continue occupying policymakers for years to come.
World Bank Publications
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