One of the greatest challenges in the 21st century is to address large, deep, and historic deficits in human development. Democracy at Work explores a crucial question: how does democracy, with all of its messy, contested, and, time-consuming features, advance well-being and improve citizens' lives? Professors Brian Wampler, Natasha Borges Sugiyama, and Michael Touchton argue that differences in the local robustness of three democratic pathways – participatory institutions, rights-based social programs, and inclusive state capacity – best explain the variation in how democratic governments improve well-being. Using novel data from Brazil and innovative analytic techniques, the authors show that participatory institutions permit citizens to express voice and exercise vote, inclusive social programs promote citizenship rights and access to public resources, and more capable local states use public resources according to democratic principles of rights protections and equal access. The analysis uncovers how democracy works to advance capabilities related to poverty, health, women's empowerment, and education.