This volume addresses an important subject, one that is too often neglected in the scholarly study of legislatures. I begin by addressing the premise of the volume: that is, that capacity building matters. Why does it matter? It matters because legislatures matter. Establishing that legislatures matter is necessary not only for justifying capacity building but also for recognising that capacity building may take different forms. © 2012 The Author. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Hansard Society; all rights reserved.