The Introduction sets up the theoretical and empirical puzzles of the book. In Mexico and Brazil, participatory democracy reforms have been implemented as part of an emerging democratizing discourse among political parties to which citizen participation was central. In practice, however, these reforms have had mixed results, between countries and also between municipalities within a single country, as in the case of Mexico and Brazil. How do we explain success? And more important, how do we define success? The Introduction poses the debate around these two questions, presenting the theoretical arguments developed and the novel comparative method used to empirically demonstrate these arguments.
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