Political Studies Association of the United  Kingdom has awarded Decentralization and Popular Democracy with the W.J.M. Mackenzie Book Prize for 2013.

The Jury of distinguished academics and journalists described the book as

“… an outstanding and exemplary piece of research that teaches us how properly devolving power and money leads local government to be more responsive to local interests. The book makes both a major theoretical contribution regarding the impacts of federalism and decentralisation, and conducts a thorough evaluation of a major programme of decentralisation in Bolivia. The theory is driven by a clear and sensible intuition that decentralisation should lead to diversity between local authorities because of different local political pressures. This is fully developed in a formal rational choice model. The empirical analysis is a rare combination of both excellent quantitative and quantitative analysis, involving a mixture of econometric analysis of local government spending over time and thorough ethnographic fieldwork on the workings of local government in various districts. The fieldwork is particularly striking for the effort involved in studying difficult to reach places and in revisiting locations ten years apart, before and after the decentralisation. The research is all the more effective for such a breadth of method and thorough analysis.”